February 2002
The Pyramid of Speed
(excerpt from Chapter 78)


I hear that a lot of autocrossers will be at this event, and some of these autocrossers even make it to the Nationals Finals events, whatever its called.  One theory holds that autocrossing helps a person become a faster road racer, as the competition is fierce in autocrossing, and it is very important to be fast in turns in order to win an event.  PD Cunningham, and other famous road racers supposedly came up the ranks in autocrossing and successfully made the transition to road racing.  But there is also another theory, spouted by PMUM, when Mike the Vette guy told him that they are going to kick PMUM/BP's Viper ass on the Streets of Willow and at Pahrump in the Open Track Challenge, as both tracks are similar to a fast autocross course.   Mike is a four time DSCSS autocross champ.   PMUM replied with his usual sarcastic, quick wit:

"Listen here cone-dodger, why don't you save it and post your racing resume on Hot-Jobs.com? Maybe there's a Wal-Mart manager somewhere who'll need you to drive the golf-kart for parking lot security. They can use a guy like you to dodge the cones and shopping carts. In the mean time, I suggest you and Sofranas bring some cones and throw them on the track the night before to confuse the real drivers out there."

Wayne's comments about autocrossers are:
"Do those autocross guys ever go over 60 mph?"

My comments are the following, illustrated graphically via The Pyramid of Speed.  I just copyrighted that term, along with the Go-Fast Crack Pipe, so if any of you semi-non-creative types out there rip off my sayings and claim them for your own, I will sick the Zen Five Lawyers on you, like we did for that other group that believes in multiple track events.  (Note: Actually, I think BP was the originator of the "Go-Fast Crack Pipe", but I copyrighted it before he did).  PMUM gets the copyright for "Cone Dodger".  I may have talked about the "levels" of The Pyramid of Speed on this website somewhere in another story, but I can't find it right now through the 200 megabytes of files on this website , so I will repeat it. 
So here goes my theory:

The Bottom Level of the Pyramid of Speed

Street Racers:
These are the yahoos that you see trying to do smoky burnouts on city streets. They look around for deserted industrial areas so they can "Race"  each other in a straight line.  They think NOS is cool.  They think "Fast and Furious" is a shoe-in for an Oscar, both for best picture, best actor, and best documentary.  They post on various Internet BBS boards short stories talking about their "Kills", where they went 0-60 faster than some other car on busy city streets. 

Favorite type of woman:  Any sixteen year old female who hangs out at those Import car shows and will show some skin, never mind that her skin is pimply.

Favorite  Magazine:  Import Tuner.  Sport Compact Car.  Turbo Digest.  NOS World.

Level 2 of the Pyramid of Speed

Freeway Racers:

Next to the bottom are these guys.  They frown upon Street Racers, thinking that Street Racers are 0-80 mph wimps.  Instead, Freeway Racers think that they are cool, as they go 120+ mph and weave in and out of traffic on the highway like a bunch of morons on crystal meth.  The problem is that these boneheads have spent money to make their car a little faster and a little noisier than usual, but they forgot one thing:  they are going at dangerously high speeds and they have itty bitty front brakes, small rear drum brakes, and they have never attended a go-fast driving school.  They forgot the Stop-Fast parts when they modified their cars.  Not good when Sally Homemaker in her 6000 lbs SUV makes a lane change at 55 mph without signaling and without looking for cars coming up on her at triple digit speeds.  They post on various BBS boards about their "Kills", where they passed some guy driving a more expensive car at 110 mph, saying that they knew that "Name_your_Car" drivers can't drive worth a crap.

Favorite type of woman:  Any female that is impressed by them driving 100 mph with a beer in their hand, a joint in the other, and no seat belt on.  Needless to say, these guys are usually dateless.

Favorite magazine:  High Times.  Mad Magazine. 

Level 3 of the Pyramid of Speed

1/4 Mile Drag Racers
Next up are the 1/4 mile drag racers.  These guys are at least smart enough to take their cars to a formal race track where there are rules, safety regulations, and ambulances for when they crash because they can't figure out how to drive in a straight line.  They look down upon the Freeway "Racers" and Street "Racers" as a bunch of immature folks who don't have enough sense to take their need for speed to their local 1/4 mile drag strip.  Instead, these 1/4 mile geeks spend their life trying to break the 12 second barrier in their souped up street cars.  Sometimes they might even get four runs in a day, and at 13 seconds a run, this means they spent the whole day at the track for 52 seconds of "racing" fun.  Kinda like spending $200 on a dinner date, and having premature ejaculation at the dinner table. 

Favorite type of woman:  Any female that has teeth. 

Favorite magazine:  Hot Rod, Car Craft, Hemi World.

Level 4 of the Pyramid of Speed

Next, we have the autocrossers, a special breed among themselves.  They frown on the illegal freeway and street racers as wreckless morons.  They laugh at the 1/4 mile Drag Racers, as those goons can only go fast in a straight line.  Hell, you can probably get a monkey or an 90 year old grandmother than can stomp on the gas and make three shifts in 12 seconds without crashing.  Reaction speed of drag racers on the start? Shit....reaction speed to autocrossers is learning a 15 turn autocross course the first time by driving out there and not hitting any freaking cones, and making some dramatic left-right-left turns without spinning out (despite the fact that they are going at a blazing 35 mph!) 

Favorite type of woman:  A female who has the whole day to burn, and can stand a safety cone upright, as they sucker them into being cone-corner workers. 

Favorite magazine:  The SCCA's SportsCar magazine and the SCCA FastTrack, so they can obey the Rule Nazi's and read and interpret drivel such as this.  These guys actually like reading a book of rules about how to go around cones at 35 mph! 


Level 5 of the Pyramid of Speed

Time Trialers
Next, we have the Time Trialers, meaning the people that who take their car to road racing courses.  Also known as "lapping days".  These people are thrown on a road racing track with about 20 other cars, and they are only allowed to pass in the straightaways.  They look down upon the illegal Street "Racers" and Freeway "Racers" for obvious reasons.  They laugh at the drag racers who can only go in the straight line.  They shake their head at the autocrossers, as why would someone want to spend all day in a parking lot to do five runs on a 15 turn course lined with safety cones, and each run only lasts 60 seconds and you never get out of 2nd gear?  Hell, at at Time Trial event or lapping day, you may get 60+ laps around a world famous road course, which is 30 times more "seat time" than you get in autocrossing!  Plus, in autocrossing, they may disallow your time because your tire is a quarter inch too wide, or you put a different brake pad on, or your springs on your car are a half inch too low.  Autocross is racing, but racing Taliban-style, with 1000's of rules of what you can do or not do. 

Favorite type of woman:  Females who think that their man is a "Racer", since his car actually made it to the pavement of a race track.  Never mind that the dude spun his car four times in one day and got dust all over the interior of the car.  She is convinced that she dates "Macho Racer".

Favorite Magazine:  Road and Track, Car and Driver, Automobile, Motor Trend.

The Top Level of the Pyramid of Speed

Wheel-to-Wheel Racers
The Wheel-to-Wheel racers are at the top of the pyramid.  They have big heads, big egos, they think they are cool, and they can be tremendously condescending.  Some even have the gall to have their own website touting their latest "racing adventures".  They think Street Racers are ricockulous, and that the Fast and The Furious is the second stupidest movie they ever seen, with Driven being the stupidest.  Freeway racers are viewed as unskilled morons, but Wheel-to-Wheel racers have been known to occasionally "bait" the Freeway Racers into following them through an offramp at triple digits speeds, and when the Freeway Racer suddenly realizes that he can't control his car that fast in a turn, the Freeway Racer panics, hits the brakes hard while turning, and ends up spinning and crashing into the guard rail, while the Wheel-to-Wheel racer looks in his rear view mirror, and calmly puts another mark on his dashboard, keeping score of "reverse-kills".  1/4 Mile Drag racers are viewed as unskilled folks who can only shift up, and cannot figure out how to master a proper heel-and-toe downshift without grinding the tranny.  

Autocrossers are viewed as crossdressers who think that danger and excitement is narrowly missing a plastic safety cone by two inches at 35 mph, and live by a rule book about their car specs that is bigger than the Bible.  There is a lot of risk and danger in autocrossing.....hell, if you screw up,  you could end up with a couple of plastic safety cones tangled up in  your front grill.  Does Michael Schumacher autocross?  Would he ever spend time dodging safety cones?  Did Kimi Raikonen make it to Formula One as a nineteen year old by driving solo in a parking lot?  Hell no, Kimi made the leap to Formula One because he was the karting champ of Finland, doing wheel-to-wheel shifter karts, not by driving around stationary cones.  If autocross was really exciting, you would see the Cone Dodger's National Championships on ESPN or Speedvision.  But no use having an autocross on TV because, uh...quite frankly, no one cares.....

Time trialers are viewed as chumps that can't figure out how to control their car well enough to maneuver in between two other cars at 100 mph in a turn without causing a three car wreck.  For it is only the Wheel-To-Wheel racer that put their car within inches of an apex at 110 mph, can brake within inches of their target braking point at 140 mph at the last possible instant without locking up the brakes into ABS or flat spotting tires, that can be within inches of another car's door going into a 100+ mph turn and fighting for position on the pavement, and can control understeer or oversteer with the pedal to the metal coming out of an apex and using the last inch of pavement exiting out of a turn to keep the car from spinning off into the dirt or into surrounding cement walls.  If a wheel-to-wheel racer makes a mistake, his car will probably be severely wrecked, other cars could be wrecked, and he could potentially take out half the cars entered in the event with him going into Turn 1 at the start of a race.

Favorite type of women:  Hot, sexy women who know that all the other "racers" in the lower levels of the Pyramid of Speed are all really just "wanna-be-wheel-to-wheel racers".  A woman with a good stock portfolio is highly desirable, because Wheel-to-Wheel racing is ahhh.....about five times more expensive than any other level on the Pyramid, as your car will break down more, the parts you need to go fast are more expensive, you blow through rear tires every weekend, you probably have to have a truck and trailer to tow the car, you need an extensive pit crew help to keep the car running that that you over modified in your thermonuclear war with other people to get to the top of the podium.

Favorite Magazine:  Autoweek, as each week they have in depth coverage of the only true sport left in the world, which is Formula One wheel-to-wheel racing.  Everything else in life is just a game......

So the question remains:  Where do you fit on the Pyramid of Speed?  For all you people who are already hooked on "Go-Fast Crack Pipe", just bite the bullet, throw a roll cage in your car, learn how to control your car a little better, and let's battle it out on the top level of the Pyramid, and let's look down upon all the other "pseudo-racers" from our perch in the Pyramid.....

Not sure how I got onto that rant.

Editor's note:  Hey, if you offended by this, please make sure you read the context of where it came from, at www.nsxfiles.com/s2k_laguna.htm.  I just isolated here to make it easier to refer to.  If it still offends you because you feel you have been categorized too low on the "pyramid"....remember....it is supposed to be humorous and sarcastic.  It's an ffing joke! <grin>  (thanks A.B. for the heads up!)

Link back to main page is at www.nsxfiles.com/stories.htm