After twenty hours of fussing and fighting with clearances
and turning wrenches
and cutting down pistons
on the twelve inch swing lathe at my workplace,
and stuffing the new motor in the machine,
and two thousand dollars in parts bills,
I was able to dyno test the bike.
To my amazement, it was up 9 horsepower.
That's 20% higher than stock.
My surprise transformed to cunning
as I imagined my competitive advantage.

On the first day or racing at Daytona,
I got the hole shot
and went forward into turn 1
with a snaking trail of racers behind me.
I led for three laps
until Craig on his Ascot
made his move in Turn 4 and passed me.
I caught him on the banking and surpassed him in Turn 1.
We did this dance for two more laps
and then on the last lap, he led
and would not let go.
I drafted his wake, and made an attempt to catch him,
but at the line I was still three feet behind him,
so I took a second place.

On the second day at Daytona,
I again got the hole shot
I focused hard and rode swifty for three laps.
when I looked back, I saw nothing but
the sun bleached Daytona asphalt,
so I continued for two more laps
until I crossed the finish line alone
and in first place.

And where was Craig? Had he faltered or crashed, or had he merely geared wrong?
I do not know and don't care to ask,
for first place means
not having to burden one's mind
with such thoughts.