Am I a Jerk? MIA (Moral Incident Analysis) I punt a guy

Incident begins at approx.12:35ish.

Context: This is in the late stages of the heat. I had been fending off a gentleman in a slightly faster kart pretty much all race. When he would get a good run, he could jam his way past me into 2 and occasionally, 4.

But, fortunately, I had more local knowledge and had a more efficient line. Despite being down on power, I could take my position back each time he passed me, but only just barely.

So, coming out of turn 1, I see the backmarker lose it wide in 1. As I start closing on him, he goes very wide again, and appears to not really have full control.

So, I gingerly make my way inside and end up making my presence known alongside him, coming out of 3. I play, “Hello, Neighbor.”, which he seems to acknowledge.

I maintain the inside taking the narrowest line possible alongside him into 4. Then, he turns into me.

At this point I have two choices.

  1. Brake and disentangle.
  2. Keep going.

I opt for 2.

Am I a Jerk?

My logic:

  1. I had to assume the gentleman I had been trading places with was still behind me.

  2. I also had to assume that if I had a major reduction in momentum, given his slightly more powerful kart, if the gentleman chasing me were to gap me in the fracas, I might not be able to make the ground back up. It was getting late in the race.

  3. It’s on me to get around folks cleanly but if I am lapping you, you should probably be letting me by. That being said, this is rental racing and this was a new fella, so its on me, not him.

  4. This was unintentionally, tactically brilliant. The guy I spun took out the kart that had been chasing me, which gave me a gap he could not recover from. Hurray for Chaos!.

As a result, I can put my nose down and start grinding out some fast laps. Shortly after this I drop into the 45s and finish out the race at good pace.

Your opinions, please…

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I hate to say it, but what you did was dump him. Running in to him on the entry of the corner does not mean he should be expected to move over. If karts had mirrors you would have just barely been in there, and then it would have been a little more judgement call. With karts you need to be far enough up when he is ready to turn in that as he looks in to the corner he sees you in his peripheal. That means about at the seat in my opinion. If you are not that far up at turn in, the accident is your fault and depending on the race director may get you move back some finishing positions

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Oh, totally. No question there. But, what would you have done? I’m not putting you on the spot, sorry, I meant was this a reasonable choice? Or was it “wrong”?

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It’s your fault unquestionably. Shoulda just waited until the next corner as you were so much faster. it’s quite obvious this person lacks experience so I am not sure what you expected him to do. It didn’t look like he was getting blue flags The problem here was you didn’t want to lose any momentum and kept your foot in. If you didn’t have full rap around bumpers and pods would you have done that?

I would have backed out. And I would expect others I am racing to back out. Once in an SCCA I put my nose in late. The result was not that the guy in front of me spun, but that it tore up the fiberglass nose of my car on the edge of his wheel. Still I got a visit from the Cheif Steward to let me know that I had done wrong.

Nope. You are correct.

Ok, but I probably lose a spot that I probably wouldn’t be able to get back. I did not expect him to jog right like that. He had all of the track. I was on the red and white rumble strips. Literally grass on my right. I assumed he knew I was there from my “Howdy!” tap. I was mistaken.

This is a reasonable expectation.

If I come up on a kart or car I am faster than I can not just punt them because getting stuck behind them may affect my race. It I could I would never have to learn to pass, just punt slower karts. Sometimes slower traffic will cost you a position. Other times it will help by being a pick for you, or holding up the driver behind you.

By the way. That does not make you a jerk. But it was the wrong approach, and a penalty would have been appropriate.

Never assume people think you’re somewhere if they can’t see you.

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Unfortunately, I agree with Alan and Todd, you pretty much just dumped him. Which I think you understand.

The question is, what would I do?
Well given this guy is all over the road, is a backmarker and clearly a newb, I would’ve been wary of getting too close and immediately would’ve been trying to anticipate the worst.

I would’ve tucked up right behind him, then at least when he slowed unexpectedly, you would tap him square and not spin him out. You put your kart in a position where if anything disrupted his momentum, you were inevitably going to spin him out.

I always try to tell drivers not to put their kart in a dangerous position that will hurt their race. Usually this refers to trying to hold the outside when being overtaken, but it applies inversely as well. You put your kart in a dangerous position for the other guy. It’s up to the leader to lap backmarkers safely.

You caught him in a bad spot unfortunately. Like was said above, it wasn’t a malicious dump, but it was avoidable contact and probably would warrant a penalty if it were an official race.

The right thing to do would just be to go apologize and admit you made a mistake. We’re just driving around in tiny cars for plastic cups anyway!


Thanks. I apologized no question. Totally on me. It just worked out so well.

One thought on catching slow traffic. You caught him at the worst spot. In the same situation in the future maybe you let up just a little before you get to the corner so you can be back on the gas running your speed in the corner and catching him after the corner. That probably offers the best oppurtunity to minimize how he affects your lap and your speed

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This complex is a place where I have a very good line and the newer guys don’t. So, I’m forever gapping hard here between 2-3.
I typically do adjust a bit such that I can get a decent run out, but, this time, with the pressure of wanting to hold position, I went feral.

In your event the guy should have known you were behind him after the bump. But you were not close enough for him to see you (along side) and he had no idea what side you were on. He was able to turn in, so you should have backed off.

As far as being a jerk. Only if you do it on purpose, take no responsibility and don’t try to be better. Just posting a video and saying “Am I Wrong” tells me this is not the way you want to race.

“Positive outcomes reinforce bad tactics”

Prolly should gone around on the left @ 12:45
Hindsight being 20/20 and all

Indeed. He does not track out. Coulda just gone around.

Pretty sure I’m usually a very respectful driver. I think I’m getting a bit harder now though. I’m definitely being assertive as heck, and that’s probably from being tired of getting pushed around by the kids. It’s also because of the cages. These things change everything. The handling becomes heavy and slow and momentum is king. It’s jealously guarded and often abused, combined with those heavy cages for maximum effect.

These NJMP enduros draw a grown-up set, though. So, it’s a different crowd. Our two hot shoes from the regular series, the young dynamite duo of Ben and Henry also do the enduro. So, my primary goal is to try to hunt down either of them, if given the slightest of edge. It’s a matter of pride. Age vs. Youth, etc. That being said, I need to remember it’s an adult crowd and play by Master’s rules.

You know, the more I think about it… I attribute this moral failure, this “keeping the foot in”, to becoming desensitized to basic decency by having been relentlessly and repeatedly punted by young Namewitheld in pretty much every single series race. :smile:

I know what you mean. Some guys in Rental make full use of the bumpers. Those are the ones that better never go bumperless.

I had my episode last night. It didn’t bother as much as it used to though. Technically I had the corner, but due to who didn’t have it I knew it was going to be a problem. It almost worked out for me & then someone behind collected us. In the end I ended up racing with 3 guys that were good about knowing where their kart ended and the other began. I maybe could have pushed through, but treated them like they deserved and couldn’t make any passes without being underhanded. I felt slightly faster but on the track with a battle in front it was pretty unpredictable to set up passes. I had to back out of a potential pass or setup a bunch of times.

In the past:
I had one guy I hit on purpose after he kept hitting me going into corners after turn in. We both got black flagged warnings, but after the session he got called to the tower for a talking to. I rolled in & told them “yeah I hit him on purpose”. There had been issues in other races with him. I had gotten to the point I decided to take it into my own hands. While not the way to do it, it did get solved.

When race officials don’t address driving issues it escalates. Ultimately the crashers never make it as front runners. What they get away with in the back of the pack, they can’t in the front.

When I come up on people I prefer they not know I am there in rentals.

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@Mike_Clark Yeah, Food for thought. I doubt a year ago I woulda been likely to make a similar post. I just woulda backed out, no question. While I’ve always wanted to do as well as possible in my races, I am a lot more risk taking now that I am protected by bumpers.

I think a mental reset is in order, to a certain extent.

There is a balance. If you are truely inside someone and they do not give you room then you have to decide. Some drivers will only start giving you room once you make it clear you are not going to back out if they come over.

I just thought about something. You have been playing a lot of video game kart racing lately. Maybe that was a factor.

True but I dont think thats it. The game I play is solitary. It’s TT. No opponents.

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