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The spectators at the race were as interesting as the cars, their heads turning in unison to follow the racing, their charge of reaction whenever a car spun out.

While he watched the race he thought about how people love to make patterns. How they think in patterns. And how this feels good.


grew up going to stock car races at Western Speedway. It was a small oval near Metchosin, B.C., and his dad was in a friend’s pit crew, he was amazing with cars. They went almost every weekend in summer. They arrived early so his dad could help prepare in the infield, and so Conn could sit in the same spot at the top of the grandstands, directly above the finish line.

The races were great. The always shifting sounds, colour, and movement. The occasional smash and a woman's scream, everyone standing and rising smoke and sometimes even running men on fire, putting each other out with fire extinguishers. Speeding tow trucks and then crews cleaning oil off the track. Then another race, and another. It always started in sun and ended "under the lights".

The announcer blared continuously from the tinny-sounding speaker high on a pole, he was good at spinning stories out of whatever was happening. And the sound of the cars: a deep, male roar.