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Pobst Position: Commit
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When you go for a pass, you cannot pussyfoot around. Either do it or don't. Don't "try" a pass. As my nephew said to me when he was ten years old and I said I would try to come visit: "The Jedi does not try. The Jedi does, or does not." (I was stunned. Star Wars genuine wisdom from a bright, demanding little boy) Trying to pass and hitting other cars is bad, people. Bad, bad, bad. I've got the pleasure and privilege of doing the TV color commentary with Rick Benjamin for the Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup this year, and just lambasted a promising young fast guy for punting two competitors, two times, off the front of the field at Mid-Ohio. Don't miss it.

Here's how to pass without contact: Get your car into the other driver's vision before he turns for the corner. I've laid down that law before, and what I am adding today is commitment. Take that line away. This is accomplished by braking late enough to thrust yourself into your opponent's line of sight. Thus if it does not work out, if you are not able to get slowed enough to get to the apex, you will slide by without taking an innocent victim with you. Further, that driver will probably not turn in and contact you, either. He will have to wait. (Except for a few sad folks that just don't get it, and drive into cars they can see, i.e. "It was my line." Was is the operative word, Ding-Dong. If you can see her without your mirrors, the line is now hers. Does this really need to be said? Don't hit things you can SEE.)

Pass like Andy Pilgrim does. Study the car ahead for your advantage. If you cannot discern one, don't try. Period. I don't care if it is The Runoffs. If you do determine one, brake late with commitment. If you take an inside line, you can brake deeper because you have a little more distance before you reach the racing line. But when you do, you must be slower because you are on a tighter radius. Andy commits. And it works, because he has already figured it out by studying his opponent. This is how you pass and remain friends. Pro passing. Pass like a pro. Like when Andy took the lead from me at Long Beach this year (see world-challengeTV.com). Have you ever been taken out of the lead of what is to you an important and meaningful race by irresponsible, foolish driving from behind? How did that feel? Yeah, I know, you wanted to put itching powder in his underwear. Or worse. Do not be "that guy"!

I was "that guy" in a Supercar race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca back in 1995. Shane Lewis was leading in a Corvette. I was on 'im in a cool BMW M5 oversized Touring Car. The M5 was good on brakes. Me, not so good. I went for the lead in the tight hairpin turn eleven...but not enough. Wimped out. Broke too early. Didn't get next to him in the brake zone. Only got a nose. Have you been here? He could not see me, of course, we're not looking in mirrors when we're turing in, we're looking at apexes. He cocked it in, and I tinked him on the rear wheel. Turned him. Crap. I coulda had him, but I did not go deeply enough on the brakes. I did not commit.
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