The Art of Racing in the Rain


Garth Stein

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The Art of Racing in the Rain: Chapter 54 Summary & Analysis

Enzo pauses for another discussion of racing strategy. He tells the reader that a driver must have faith. When a driver is forced off his line for whatever reason, he finds himself at a turn exit with too much speed and no more track. At this point, the driver must make decisions. The driver must accept that mistakes have been made and be willing to pay the price, which is to go off track into the gravel. While in the gravel, other drivers will pass him, but Enzo suggests considering the drivers who have suffered great tragedy by over-correcting and spinning their cars. Rather, he says, the driver must wait to get back on the track when it's safe, and while he may not win, he'll at least be alive. He finishes by offering the advice that it's better to drive within oneself and finish last than it is to drive too hard and crash.
The reader knows that Denny is nearing the end of his legal battle. He's made mistakes and has been paying the price for them, and here Enzo makes the case that Denny should continue to stick it out, have faith, and persevere through this grueling rough patch, keeping in mind that at this point, an "overcorrection" could lead him to failure. "Driving within oneself" could allude to the fact that Denny knows he's innocent, and that holding onto this piece of knowledge will help him finish this race.
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