~ by Chris #16 Demaras ~

My wife Alice often says I have an unhealthy level of competitiveness against my son Daniel. But I think she’s got it all wrong. Nothin is going to hit as hard as life, and it’s my job as Daniel’s dad to prepare him for the difficulties he will face in the future. My plan this week was to beat him at his own game; on the racetrack.

For my weapon, I brought the No. 16 MagiSeal Miata powered by K1 Speed.

Daniel would be in his daily-driver “Bugeye” Subaru Impreza WRX. Yes, his car is a couple of years newer, and it has a turbocharged 2.0 L engine, versus my naturally aspirated 1.8 L four-banger. My power deficiency would be easily made up by the fact the MX-5 is 800 lbs. lighter, and of course, my superior driving skill.

And if need be, I’d be willing to put my first born into the wall.

Several times this summer, Sunset Speedway has hosted a “King of the Hill” competition. Spectators take their street-legal cars out on track for a one-lap shootout against another speed demon. Daniel had the opportunity to compete in this same event back in May. And since then, he’s run hundreds of laps around Sunset in the SKLD Motorsports No. 9 Acura Integra.

But as track officials lined us up at the starting line, the old saying ‘age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance’ repeated in my mind.

My cat-like reflexes gave me the advantage off the line, as years of watching PINKS on Speed TV taught me to watch the starter like a hawk. Go on yellow, or something like that. I humped out to an early lead, and looking over my right shoulder, I knew I had Daniel beat. But the first corner was coming up, and that wall just kept coming at me.

Once we were on the back straight, and Daniel’s turbo kicked in, I was toast. I saw him initiate his pass on the exit of Turn 2. First, I glanced at the World Rally Blue bugeye in my peripheral vision. Then I heard his engine roar as me pulled ahead of me. He pulled a gap and didn’t let up.

When Daniel crossed the finish line I still had a few meters to go, so there was plenty of time to think up excuses. Doug Wilman from SKLD Motorsports had warned me that Daniel was pretty quick around the oval, and I should prepare to get trounced. He was right!

Daniel and I used to race against each other every weekend, but since 2020 at K1 Speed it hasn’t been very often. Sure we competed in Time Attack at Cayuga this spring, but it wasn’t a head-to-head race. No, this was the first time Daniel and I had really raced each other in cars on a proper track, and it’s a day I’ll remember forever…as I plan my revenge!

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