This community is the best in the world | Column

By J.G. Pasterjak
Sep 24, 2022 | SCCA, Toyota, MR2, Solo Nationals, Toyota MR2, Column, Solo Nats | Posted in Columns | From the Nov. 2022 issue | Never miss an article

You tend to learn a lot of things when you catch on fire, the foremost of which is, “Do your best to avoid catching on fire.” The fire I found myself caught in was milder than most, although it was still a stressful experience.

But no, this column is not about the fire that flared up in my MR2’s engine …

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Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
9/23/22 9:11 a.m.

I'm thankful that the MR2 catching fire has a mostly happy ending. Excited to see what its future holds.

(That's called foreshadowing.)

Scooter70 New Reader
9/23/22 1:20 p.m.

"We know how fun this is, this thing we do. It’s fun enough that we want to share it with everyone, and there’s nothing worse than seeing someone not have fun when we know we can fix it. I love that. It’s not just heartwarming, it’s honorable and decent and kind and compassionate and so many things that make a sometimes terrifying world worth being in."



This is exactly why we do it.

Tom1200 UberDork
9/23/22 2:00 p.m.

I was just telling a neighbor last night that if they come to the track they'll see people jumping in to fix other people's cars.

I did add that "we do it because we want to beat them on track" and "mostly because if we beat them we can talk smack about them to their face for the next month and half"

She laughed and said that was awesome.

Racers are good people.

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/23/22 2:44 p.m.
Tom1200 said:

I was just telling a neighbor last night that if they come to the track they'll see people jumping in to fix other people's cars.

That's literally how Adrian and I met. We were both at the Waterford Hills racing school in 1999 and I blew a head gasket in my ITC Fiesta. He had a spare. I later gave him a replacement and a beer. Been close friends ever since.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/23/22 3:22 p.m.

It is kind of remarkable. I've had a high-priced team of Porsche mechanics weld up a broken bracket for me because they were bored since nothing else was breaking. I've had a complete stranger hand me the keys to his $80,000 truck to make a parts run into town.  I had a guy whom I barely know print, frame and present me with a large format picture of me driving my car on track just because it was a cool photo.... et cetera, et cetera. 

Tom1200 UberDork
9/23/22 4:05 p.m.

So last month I had a bit of a scare (mostly in my head); after my routine annual treadmill stress test the Cardiologist's office called and told me they saw something and I needed to do a nuke stress test.  They told me no strenuous activity until they did the test (that's the part that scared me).

Everything turned out to be fine but my most immediate thought was "what if I can't drive the race car?"

I quickly came up with the plan of.............."I'll just enter the car and have my son drive."

I would really miss the people. 

I'm pretty much a total goof-ball big kid and when I'm at the track there are so many other goof-ball big kids I just feel so at home.  

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/23/22 8:47 p.m.

"This community" extends to all grass roots motorsports (not just a clever name) where we're doing it for the love of the sport.  It hurts to see people who also are doing it for the love of the sport be unable to do it and we WILL help if necessary.



Video should embed at 2:16.  If it doesn't, (a) that is me mounting tires with Cat gloves and Converse All-Stars, and (b) the Civic that blew both axles stopped moving right in front of my worker station.  ("I lost an axle on the first turn but I was still moving, so I kept going with the run until the other axle went")  It happened exactly as described, someone else had spare Civic axles and without question they got thrown into the car so he could continue making runs.  Because it is no fun when your peeps aren't also having fun.

buzzboy SuperDork
9/23/22 9:28 p.m.

During a Lemons race at CMP we came into the Jesus Hour on sunday morning with two cars leading on the same lap, 190E Cossie and an MA80 Supra. The supra had finished off all the tires they brought and still had 4 hours of racing to go. The owner of the 190E, Rick Ellinger, gave 4 tires to the Supra team because, "I want to beat you on track, not because you ran out of tires." He also sold me a set of CLK Lightweights mounted with 25% ZII Star Specs for a crazy deal in the midst of this.

CAinCA GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/24/22 1:05 p.m.


I guess I need to start with a bit of a confession: I don’t always have the easiest time being around people. It’s not that I don’t like them or enjoy their company or find them genuinely interesting. It’s just that I live every moment in public believing that everyone around me will suddenly realize what a massive fraud I am–that I’m the one who isn’t particularly interesting or enjoyable to be around.

Man, is someone cutting onions?

 J G you are one of us and you are all of us. Many of us have imposter syndrome. One day you realize that the people you think don't have it are just better at hiding it. 

I have been in my career for 25 years. I've been a leader at every company I've ever worked for. I still get nervous for every 1:1 meeting I have with my manager. I was nervous for my review last year even though I had already been told I was getting promoted. 


jfryjfry SuperDork
9/24/22 4:38 p.m.

I make a point to walk around the pits and try to find the people off to the side with no one around or the guys who aren't battling for a podium because that has been and usually still is me.  

they love their cars and racing as much as anyone but it's always better when you can share that experience so I try and be a person they can share even a small part with. 

i figure that if I would appreciate someone coming up and talking to me that others might as well.  

I haven't made any lifetime buddies from it but I have had some good conversations and got to have people to watch and cheer for on the track. 


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