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The Distance

by Lee Roby 11 months ago in Short Story
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Crouched at the starting line

The Distance

"Reluctantly crouched at the starting line Engines pumping and thumping in time. The Green light flashes the flags go up. Churning and burning, they yearn for the cup. They deftly maneuver and muscle for rank. Fuel burning fast on an empty tank." This song by Cake is what was blaring in my car as I planned a road trip back to college for my last semester.

It was my senior year at UMass Amherst and I was studying Nuclear Chemistry. I drove a BMW four cylinder with a NOS kit. My buddies and I race street cars, at least when we can. We have gone to Midnight Madness, and have entered some races there. It's at World Wide Technology Raceway, Madison, IL.

I was a 5th year senior because I only took 14 credit hours per semester. I had racked up over $100,000 in college loans. I took out some more loans for my car. I had won a race with this enigmatic dope fiend but he was ruthless and a good driver. We raced for fucking pink slips and I was a little afraid to lose my car but I wanted the fucking release of adrenaline wrapped up in a comatose of vapid epinephrine coursing through my veins. I was elated to say the least.

He didn't have a nitrous system; his car was just supercharged so I knew I could take him. He had a supercharged 1996 Dodge Viper. We raced down the street a quarter mile. Once the arms went down I pedaled to the metal and flat-shifted. I don't normally flat-shift but I thought I could beat him if I flat-shifted. We were edge to edge down the street racing neck to neck. Then I hit the nitrous and careened my way to a fucking victory. I was one car length ahead and now I owned it. His 96' Dodge Viper. I was going to NOS that fucker out.

The theory of flat-shifting is meant to reduce the amount of time between the gap of torque appliance when the clutch disengages the engine from the transmission. This I was a theologian in usually winning a lot of street races; I had to replace some clutches though.

Most people who aren't professors of flat shifting will lift off the throttle, clutch down, change gears, clutch up, and then throttle on. I needed the most power for my engine so I gave it a nitrous boost. The engine burns the gas which expands and thrusts the pistons down with such great force over and over again.

The chemistry behind the nitrous system is this: the nitrous changes from a liquid to a gas and you learn this in chemistry class. The gas becomes very frigid. This nitrous vapor drops to about 65 degrees Fahrenheit. This produces more horse in the nitrous system.

It also produces a fuck ton of torque when the engine burns more fuel at a lower rpm. When the nitrous is fired into the engine combustion takes place; this extreme combustion separates the chemical bond and provides just nitrogen and oxygen.

Nitrous oxide doesn't burn so don't worry about getting blown up it is actually an oxidizer. The atoms in nitrous oxide molecule are bonded together, when heated the bond breaks at the exact temperature of 565 degrees Fahrenheit.

Let's talk about the racer's edge. The edge I'm talking about is the visualization before the race that quarter mile of plain fucking silence. The visualization of winning. The road instead of being foreign becomes this stuck on picture that hangs itself right in front of you. You don't only see the road you see it's rough exterior. You see the gray hard top. You see the perspective of the road and the car beside you, you see yourself shift with perfect mechanism.

You get really honest with yourself, really clear and really true. You focus on what area of the mental game you need to improve on. You mentally go through the race over and over again in your head. The mental memory fixes itself like a drug. Once the physical memory of the race is fixed in your brain it acts like a drug and that it remembers the feeling once you take it; it's the same with visualization with the street once the muscle memory of the road hits your brain it's like a trigger; just like when you take a drug. Once you take the drug you won't initially feel the drug, but as it begins to work and get good you feel its nasty effects take hold and put you in a whirl wind of excitement. It's the greatest thrill in the world. That's what racing feels like for about 10 seconds. It's like a drug that intoxicates your body, but if you win it fills it up with endorphins; like having the greatest sex in the world. That's only if you take their car though, and that's exactly what I did.

Moving on I had my buddy who's a professional automotive technician put in my NOS kit and make sure it didn't run lean or too rich, so it was just right. Right now that thing hauls ass. So I sold my BMW and drive and race the Viper. I finally finished my semester in college and graduated. Now I'm a science geek but on my spare time I get to race; so I still get that adrenaline pump from time to time. That's my story.

Short Story

About the author

Lee Roby

I published Trigonometry Simplified on Amazon. I like to write fiction as well as non-fiction. This is all a learning process for me and as I progress through this maze called life hopefully my passion and writing becomes greater.

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