There are faces I won’t see in the pits anymore.
Some are gone forever.
I don’t think about the wreck that took them,
but about the wreckage left behind.
Would they want me to stop?

Cory Texler, #65. [Jodi Johnson]
Olive keeps hounding me.
Daddy, you keep breaking bones.
Why won’t you stop?
My ex coyly asks if she’s still on my life insurance plan.
I appreciate her humor.
Death is easy,
but being paralyzed or badly broken is not.
All I know is, I walk taller after a race.

Cali Kid, #49. [Jodi Johnson]
Racing is always somewhere in my mind.
It’s my feel-good time.
The reward for getting my work done.
When I’m racing, all I can focus on, is what’s going on,
The pain of life is washed away with speed.

Briar Bauman, #14. [Jodi Johnson]
There’s no relief at the day job.
Why you need Saturday off?
We need you on the floor.
If you get hurt don’t come back.
They’re not smiling.

Jake, #5. [Jodi Johnson]
I try to find it on the track,
but there’s too much rain in my head.
They show me they mean business
by being heavy and not showing.
I don’t want them to see
if it goes wrong anyway.
I’m not blind, but it’s what I am.
Sitting in the stands doesn’t work for me.
I live for the green flag.
Peace comes when I drop the clutch.

Brandon Robinson, #44. [Jodi Johnson]
I can’t get the ‘if you fall and get hurt’ vibe out of my head.
It’s just a fast street ride now.
It’s cold and lonely running second.
No traffic to heat it up.
Cold and uncompetitive is humbling.

Shawn Baer, #2. [Jodi Johnson]
I reflect in my black coffee.
I talk to him but he doesn’t answer.
The line between feels good
and what’s right is blurred.
Walking the line brings clarity.
Those are the times I carry with me.
The others were forgettable….

Thank you to Jodi Johnson for the use of her amazing photography.

Michael Lawless [@electric_horseman], our ‘Poet of Packed Earth’, is the Flat Track Editor for, and has his own blog: Electric Horseman