At some point in your driving career, it’s likely you’ll end up in a bad situation. You’ll over-drive the conditions, slide out on ice, or just fall victim to the poor driving habits of others. But no matter how you get into that situation, you won’t always be able to get yourself out — sometimes, only luck can do that.
We’ve all had lucky moments behind the wheel — near misses from red-light runners, potholes that just barely miss swallowing your wheels. But today, we’re talking about the absolute biggest lucky moments: The times that luck saved your skin. What was your luckiest save while driving?
My luckiest moment came in the summer of 2021, at a track day in Massachusetts. It was my first real track event in my old FR-S, after I left behind the constrained parking lots of autocross, and I was ready. I had fancy wheels and tires, and a helmet with shiba inu stickers on it — what else could I need?
Well, as it turned out, I could’ve used a bit more skill. The event didn’t have much in the way of professional, trained instruction, so I didn’t learn until late in the day that I’d been braking too softly for too long on each corner, building up unnecessary heat in my brakes. Of course, I did learn — when my brakes lost all function on Palmer Motorsports Park’s front straight.
90-something miles per hour, heading into a corner with no brakes and precious little runoff room before a concrete barrier. The only option I had was to take the corner wide, trying to scrub as much speed as possible, hoping those shiny new Michelins wouldn’t let go on me.
They didn’t. I survived the corner, made it back to the paddock, and ordered higher-temperature brake pads. But I didn’t make it back on skill only luck saw me through turns one and two.
That’s my luckiest driving save. What’s yours? Leave your answers in the comments, and we’ll collect our favorites tomorrow afternoon.