The Art of Racing in the Rain


Garth Stein

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The Art of Racing in the Rain: Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

Enzo takes a break from the story to discuss some racing strategy and theory. Ideally, a driver controls his car so that he can correct a spin before it happens. However, we don't live in an ideal world, mistakes happen, and drivers must react sometimes. When reacting, according to Denny, a car is only as good as its tires, and if the tires lose traction and a skid is initiated, nothing else matters. In that situation, a driver is at the mercy of momentum. If a driver panics at that point, he'll lift his foot off the accelerator and the car will spin. A good driver will try to correct by turning the wheels the direction the car is moving. If the car does find traction though, the wheels will be turned in the wrong direction, inducing a far more dangerous counterspin.
The overarching theme of this discussion is that one can't panic when faced with adversity or unforeseen circumstances. The placement of this discussion within the text, when we know that Enzo would be fully within his rights to panic after being left, provides the reader a starting point for understanding Enzo's actions and decisions in the next chapter as he deals with being abandoned.
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However, if at the beginning of this chain of events the driver had increased pressure on the accelerator and followed the movement of the wheels, the spin would have been corrected, although the driver would be at risk of running off the track. The driver, while not where he intended to be, is still in control of the car and can still complete the race. Enzo finishes, saying that if the driver's manifesting is good, he may even win.
Enzo's belief in manifesting and destiny is apparent, and again can be applied to the narrative surrounding this discussion. We see, before Enzo even explicitly tells us, that Enzo's strategy will be to not panic and do his best to manifest a positive outcome of this unfortunate turn of events.
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