Am I a Jerk? Moral Incident analysis #4

Am I a Jerk? Moral Incident analysis #4 E-town Edition

Here’s a final lap incident of sorts that occurred this last race. Not really sure if I am in wrong, here. I certainly wasn’t attempting to hinder anyone’s race, but I can see how it felt that way to the other guy. I don’t think I did a good job after the race of addressing his complaint, however. It sort of took me a bit by surprise and I hadn’t thought it through. On the way home, I wondered if perhaps he was correct, that I should have lifted or something.

The basic gist is this…

I was running well and then my kart broke, necessitating a pit and kart change. I was quick about it, but damage done. This put me in sort of an odd place and I had no idea by the closing laps what position I was in. Basically, I was nose down, playing catch-up as best I could.

2 laps to go, I get blue for leader approaching. He gets by. 1 lap to go, I get additional flag and 2-3 pass on inside, into T1, fighting.

With 2 and 3 fighting ahead, 4 slots in in front of me exiting 2. Unfortunately for him, 2 and 3 are still fighting and he gets caught up in their fray, getting pushed wide of exit of 3, causing him to have a poor launch down straight.

I am to inside of this as we exit corner three and alongside the fella who passed me now. I have a better run and at this point I would have to lift to allow him to regain his position ahead of me. As we went down straight, my run expanded and I was about 3/4 ahead into braking zone.

I took the turn aware that he was outside and left a lot of space for him to be able to complete the turn. I think he might have felt a bit squeezed here, but it looks to me like i deliberately took an accommodating line, giving him the inside in the chicane.

Unfortunately he then has a little lateral slide in the second turn, the sharp left middle turn of the chicane. Since we are close, he gets tippy tapped, but nothing dramatic. He starts waving hands around, clearly unhappy. He swerves a bit, I am forced to then swerve a bit for the exit of next corner. That opens up the opportunity for the guy behind him, who passes, and that’s the race.

In retrospect, I think the other fella was hoping to maybe make something happen with the two guys ahead fighting in that last lap. But, he compromised himself pretty badly, which put him (and me) in an awkward position. That resulted in me not being in a position where I could swerve behind him and push down straight (I was too far inside of him already). Expecting me to lift and allow him to regain position there would be unreasonable, imho, in that my last lap would be compromised down straight because he chose to tangle in front of me and was unlucky.

So, I did what I could, which was to hold position, allow the run to evolve, and take the next corner carefully, giving him plenty of room through the corner and the subsequent chicane. It looks to me like I did and that his mistakes (2 of them) were not forced by me and resulted in absolutely no damage to his race (but arguably to mine). So, I think I am OK here with the drive. But, what’s your opinion?

What I am not happy with is that I didn’t have anything intelligent to say right after the race and didn’t communicate well. That can be fixed, I suppose. The fella who punted me race prior, for example, came up to apologize this race. I can re-engage with that driver at a later meeting and give him my take.

Are we talking about this minor contact with #8?

I think he was upset about the fact that I didn’t lift for him into straight and that I then made life less easy for him through the chicane than if I wasn’t there.

I think the two fellas after the race were saying that I impeded their race. Which, I sort of did, but I attempted to allow him safe passage within reason, in context of my race.

I’m sure he wishes he didn’t have to deal with me through chicane, but to my eyes, I gave him space and allowed him to take the red apexes and slot under me.

Ultimately, I’m the one who gets sent wide in final corner of chicane, avoiding him after he bobbles.

Remember, they are lapping me here since I had to pit. Last lap is bad timing, and that’s probably why this seems to be an issue to the other fella.

I would be annoyed if I were him. You were a lap down and had nothing to gain by fighting. When he bobbled and you got the run, you now took away any chance he had of drafting and pulling out in the kart ahead. Then you are in his way for the right hander, so he has to compromise his line for the next left, which is where he bobbles. Then he gets bumped by you because you’re riding his ass.

So in summary, you battled a guy who was actively racing for position when you were effectively out of the race, compromised him, then ran into him and compromised him again. All on the last lap. I can see why he was mad.

Sure he made mistakes, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to fight him for no reason.

In that situation I would’ve just lifted and let him go on that first straight and not interfere with the battle.

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Ok so you are if the opinion that I should have lifted for him when he ran wide onto main straight and compromised my momentum so that he could maintain a leading position into next corner? In effect, give him some “catch-up” room to cover his mistake, potentially at cost to me? (Assume I have no idea who else is on butt, could be for position).

Yeah, your race is basically over. It would be the respectful thing to let the leaders duke it out and give them some space since you have nothing to gain by getting in the middle of the scrap.

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If you aren’t actively fighting for a points or money position and are a lap down, you concede and let the lead lap guys fight it out. He bobbled, but his race was not with you and you pushed the issue with him as a lap down car.

Yes, he rightfully should have been annoyed or upset with how that went down.


Ok that’s fair.

However, I really didn’t have an easy out here. Normally I’d want to swerve a bit and push the guy. That wasn’t in the cards as I was ahead/alongside as we arrived together corner exit.

So, as I pulled ahead I tried to make it work out as best as I could. I was not fighting him. Had I been, I would have done a variety of other things to ensure that he didn’t get next apexes. So, I see the fighting accusation a bit differently.

So, in your opinion my race was over and I should have lifted, left clear track. If I had better understanding of who was behind me, I might well have done so, but I had no idea if I was alone or had anyone behind me, relevant to my race.

This is part of the “gather information” I coach so often. Take a quick peek over your shoulder and see if there is someone behind you so you know if you can lift and give the leaders room or not.

Even if you don’t lift there on the straight, you should’ve conceded before the next corner, because you’re on his inside and he cannot run the racing line, so you’re impeding him now. And then when you do concede, spot him a kart length so you don’t run into his bumper when he has to compromise his apex because you put him off line.

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Ok so you and Chuck are of the “if you are a lap down, just lift” school.

I hear you and if that’s the majority opinion, then I guess that’s just what we will have to go with.

The thing that bothers me with this is that it assumes that everyone has lapped you and that accommodating the leaders doesn’t affect your finish, doesn’t open you up for a pass.

Any dissenters?

That’s a good point. Nick and I are only off and in participation and aren’t there for points.

When I race, I tend to go all in and forget the bigger picture. Despite not having any serious intent with karting, it’s hard not to be overly competitive! Asking me to lift is like asking me to punch myself in the face, a bit.

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100% agree with TJ. A game I will play in my head…reverse the roles. How would you feel if the situation was reversed? Even if you are faster you are not going to make up a lap. Unless this was some sort of an endurance race, I am actually surprised they let you back out in another kart as this was sure to create issues. Sometimes you have to accept the situation, your kart broke, you are done!


Agreed on both, that being said, asking me to lift down main straight is a big ask.

The problem I have with that in this situation is that I didn’t know if there was anyone else behind me in that closing lap, relevant to my position. Lifting there would be a big penalty, it being start of straight.

But yeah, Charles/TJ point is that I should have perspective and be like “Ok, let the other kids have their fun, you old bastard”.

Tjs point that the impeding is me taking the apex eos. I was of opinion that since I tried to give him inside of subsequent turns, I was fair. I get his point which asks you to concede entirely under certain circumstances.

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The respect goes both ways. I was racing shifter yesterday in Orlando, where I was the only Senior. Everyone else was in Masters (15 pounds heavier and 10 years older than me, at least). I was supposed to start the Main Event in 5th, but elected to start last (14th) because I had nothing to gain by interfering with everyone else who’s racing for prizes offered by Rok Cup. Sometimes you just need to read the room


Appreciate your thoughts.

I’ve been on the side of a lapped kart interfering in my lead pack race… While it was annoying to have interference, I also realize they paid the same amount of money to race as I did and they are also racing for position themselves. It would be pretty arrogant of me to say "lift and get out of my way because you’re slower.

Also me: move you with bumper, cause you’re in my way and someone is hot on my tail.


To me, it’s a different discussion if the lapper is also actively racing for position. I wouldn’t want them to jump out of the way and sacrifice their position for me to go through. I’m of that same mindset that we all paid the entry fee.

But if the lapper is just riding around not in an active battle, I think they should make way for the race at the front.

Personally, if I encounter a lapper and they are not making it easy for me to get by, they will be receiving much bumper in a matter of seconds. In most cases it shouldn’t be too much of an issue because if you’re being lapped, you should be easy to pass, but in Dom’s case, he had a mechanical, so his pace isn’t bad, which makes him a more difficult lapper to deal with.


Yea this would have been ideal and what I’d normally do but in this case I ended up ahead of his bumper.
He got a bad run since he had to zig to avoid the guys fighting into the corner leading to straight.

Since I was pulling and ahead of his kart, that would have been full lift, lose 5 mph, tuck back in. I chose not to do that since I didn’t know what else was behind.

In retrospect it didn’t really matter to me how I finished. My race hand been screwed by last kart but I didn’t let it go. It’s just reflexive and in this case I’m told that I should have sacrificed the remainder of my race for theirs. I’m ok with that, but next time we’ll have a look back, first. Alex had stinker kart 12 so I bet I wasn’t last!