John Thayer  English 1101

   When I say the word "racing," many would think of Nascar... boring. However, my perception of the word ďracingĒ doesnít include driving in circles on a big fancy track. Iím talking about driving on the streets of everyday society. Racing is defined as a competition of speed or contest of supremacy. To me, racing is so much more than that. Racingís not just about beating every other "racer" on the streets, which is a common misconception. My definition of racing includes unique styling, bonding among tuners, and the feeling received when behind the wheel.

   Racing is much more than just an aspect of speed. While every racer loves to go fast, every racer also wants to look good. Thatís why unique styling plays a huge factor in racing. Every automobile is a masterpiece in the making, an enormous puzzle awaiting the proper pieces to ensure completion to the ownerís standards. Every vehicle has the option to upgrade each and every part. From body kits to cold air intakes to headers, exhaust systems, performance chips, stereo systems, neon under lights, to even specific color of window tints. When it comes to styling, the lists of aftermarket upgrades are endless. Every single part on every single car can be upgraded or customly enhanced to fit the ownerís wants and needs. Racing is all about being unique. Thereís nothing to describe the feeling when I pull my car up at any place and have everyone just stare. The feelings and comments almost become addicting. The best part is that I could spend hundreds of dollars to stand out or just a few dollars to enhance my vehicle. Money doesnít have to be a problem.

   As well as being unique, being involved in racing can bring many friendships that will last a lifetime. All of my closest friends are also tuners. I met many of them at car shows or races and indulged in conversations about cars for hours on end. Not only do I meet many new friends, I also gain a lot of knowledge from fellow enthusiasts. Iíve met people from all ages, from all over the world, and I learn new things each and every day. I love to meet new people who are as interested in cars as I am. Itís also a lot easier to talk to other tuners when a common interest is shared. Several times Iíve been approached by completely random people who just wanted to talk to me about my car. This has happened outside restaurants, at car shows, and even outside retail stores. I would have to admit racers are some of the friendliest people that Iíve ever met in my lifetime and I look forward to meeting new friends.

   As well as styling and friendships that can be achieved through being a tuner, the most intriguing factor is being behind the wheel of my own creation. Itís unexplainable the feelings I get when I grip the worn steering wheel and feel the vibrations from the engine pulse through my fingertips. The adrenaline pumps through my body as I slowly mash the pedal to the floor and watch as the RPMs shoot up. Excitement overtakes me with the roar of the engine, the whispering intake, and the buzz of the exhaust shooting out the back. Itís astonishing the emotions I get as I witness buildings blur alongside. Feelings of complete domination embark upon me as I watch the other cars behind try to keep up. Itís at this moment that I feel completely free in the world as if Iím unseen and unbothered, just floating through the clouds witnessing the slow moving society below.

   Racing is a passion, a lifestyle, my lifestyle. I love everything about cars, and every spare moment I have I spend working on my car or a friendís car. Racing is more than what the average mind perceives. Racing is not only about speed and winning. Itís also about unique styling, bonding with other tuners, and the feelings of driving my own vehicle.


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