1202 Flirting With Disaster

What is your opinion of this story?

  • 5 ? This is an excellent episode! One of my personal favorites!

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2 ? This episode was like the neutral zone ? I am indifferent.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1 ? Bellisario would be rolling in his grave if he had one.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters

QL Damsel

Al's Place / TVS & QR & Radio Files Administrator
Staff member
Aug 26, 2002
Near Austin Texas
Flirting With Disaster
February 18, 1990

Atlanta International Raceway, Atlanta, Georgia

Sam leaps into racing legend Frank Strickland, with the apparent mission of preventing a fatal accident on the racetrack. Will Sam be able to save himself from repeating the future?

Written by: Erik Dreiling

TVS Team
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Our rating system this season consists of six raters and three back-up raters! We took the average of six raters and came up with an average for that episode. Based on ratings of 10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest, the average of this episode was: 8.08

Please be aware that some reviews may contain spoilers! Some of the comments given were:

Seeker said:
While I agree that there were a few sentences that I had to re-read a couple of times, overall this was a good story and a nice read. Good job, Erik.



Morris J. Finkle said:
I don't know much about NASCAR or racing in general either, but I liked this story a lot. It was obvious to me as well that this story was paying homage to the late, great racing legend, Dale Earnhardt, Sr.

I think what really worked in this story was that it was structured like a classic television episode. It definitely had that "original series" feel to it, not needing to rely heavily on VS continuity. While I enjoy reading about how PQL evolves and the development of all of the various VS characters, I still enjoy the occasional standalone story. After all, that is what drew us all into QL in the first place. :)

Although there were a few minor grammatical mistakes here and there (commas in certain places and not in others, etc.), I had no problems reading it and understanding what was going on. I try not to base my ratings on human error anyway. ;)

Well done, Erik!



Sporty said:
This was a compelling story. It was kind of superficial but it was alright. I am sure Erik had in mind the tragedy of Dale Earnhardt Sr. when he envisioned Frank Strickland. I did like the way that Sam and Frank's minds merged at the most unopportune moment. Not a classic, but a well worthwhile read. Good job!



Allie Cat said:
I'm not much into NASCAR or any kind of racing (other than that shown in movies :) ) but I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It was definitely easy to tell that this was a tribute to Dale Earnhart, Sr. - even a non-fan of NASCAR can remember his tragic accident. And seeing Al all excited about racing was nice, especially since we know from the original series that he loves fast cars.

However, there is the matter of the grammar in the story. I'm sure that I won't be the only one to point it out. It did kind of cause me to stop every once in a while to reread a sentence to understand it.

Still, great story.



Vince Beckett said:
This was a pretty good story. It was kind of short and didn't have a lot of racing scenes, but it wasn't bad. I enjoyed reading it.



Gooshie said:
It's been three years since we've seen an episode from Erik and it's great to read something written by him again. This was an enjoyable story, but I felt it moved along a little too quickly and seemed to smooth over some details. There was also a lot of "narrowing of eyes" in the earlier part of the story and the repetition kind of stuck out.



Now, it's your opportunity to rate this particular story. Let the author(s) know how you rate this story. If you'd like to give feedback, please go ahead and leave a reply!

The Virtual Seasons Team
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First past to post

I am British and not a NASCAR fan, but that's okay.
I can tell that Erik is a fan, and when authors write about something they are passionate about, it always helps. The enthusiasm for the subject shines through.
Without wishing to put too much in the way of spoilers, I liked the spanner in the works, and how it affected Sam's performance and the outcome of the Leap.
I found the story a little predictable, but I think that is only because it conformed so well to what we know about Sam (his intervention in the altercation in the mensroom etc.) and how he reacts in certain situations. In other words, if things hadn't gone the way I saw coming, it would have been a disappointment! Does that make sense?

Well done, Erik.
I am a NASCAR fan myself, so I was looking forward to reading this one. I appreciated the homage to Dale Earnhardt--I well remember the wreck that claimed his life, what a sad day for racing that was. Dale Sr. was my favorite driver...sure do miss the Intimidator.

That said, I did have a couple of stumbling points. Some of the sentence structures jolted me out of the story (though that's an occupational hazard as my degrees are in English). Also, Sam?s worried about the wreck happening on Saturday, but the Atlanta race should be taking place on Sunday for Winston Cup, unless it?s at night. Busch Series races run on Saturdays, with Winston Cup (now Nextel Cup) on Sundays.

The character of Anderson bothered me a bit, he struck me as far more vindictive than your average NASCAR driver in real life. But he did certainly serve the story well.

I did enjoy seeing that Al's a NASCAR fan ;) and I really enjoyed the detailed description of the track. Until I can actually manage to attend a NASCAR race in person, this was a nice immersion for me. 8)

Well done!
My dad and my brother are huge car fanatics, and so comes with it is the watching of stock-car races... NASCAR is often on the television in my household (when I'm at home) and I've been to numerous CASCAR events, so I could picture everything that was going on. However, I felt a little more detail may have helped out the unknowledgeable reader, but this would have made an excellent episode for the original series.

Once again, Sam has leaped into a sport... I don't think we've left very many left for him to cover. :b BTW, a "rpm gage" is called a tachometer...

Overall, this was a pretty good episode. I also liked the small reference to one of your earlier stories from the sixth season (about the circus)... It's too bad Sam couldn't have saved the day completely, but as we've learned, that's not always possible.

... Mike. ^_^
(post #16)
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MikeKraken said:
this would have made an excellent episode for the original series.
I agree with Mike; I'm sort of surprised they never actually did an episode with Sam leaping into a race car driver. Perhaps if it had continued, we would have. Oh well... It's nice to see some of the "old-timers" writing again, and this particular story from Erik was an enjoyable one.

MikeKraken said:
Overall, this was a pretty good episode. I also liked the small reference to one of your earlier stories from the sixth season (about the circus)...
I vaguely remember "Leap On a Wire"; at first, I thought Erik was referring to "Leaping In Without a Net" until I re-read it and noticed it mentioned tight-rope walking. :lol

MikeKraken said:
It's too bad Sam couldn't have saved the day completely, but as we've learned, that's not always possible.
Something tells me we'll be seeing a lot more of that in the coming months; take that as you will... ;)

A Good Story That Honors "The Intimidator"

I read this story yesterday and I thought it was good to infuse a NASCAR plot line.

As a NASCAR fan for 10-11 years now, as I continued to read further into the story, I hit upon the Earnhardt Connection. Dale was the reason I became a NASCAR fan and I was there through the good times and the bad. One of the races that NASCAR and Earnhardt fans wiil never forget was the 1998 Daytona 500, where he won the race that he had coveted for 20 years to obtain.

Many of the things NASCAR fans know about Dale are here. The Wrangler colors Dale ran from 1981-1982 until 1987, before he changed to the famous black GM Goodwrench colors in 1988, that created more of the Earnhardt lore. The car number #3 is the same as well as Dale's need to be lead a very private life. Furthermore, the description as given of Frank is similar to Dale, mustache and all. Dale would smile when it came down to pulling pranks on other drivers as well as when he won or if his family, like Dale Jr. and Kerry would win a race. The accolades that Al describes are similar as well, 7 time champion, only man to win rookie of the year and a championship in consecutive seasons, etc. That was all Dale.

What is also similar is the leap date: February 18, 1990. February 18 was the day in 2001 that we lost Dale to a similar accident at Daytona, which I had watched on television that day and had taped.

There are a few things I could nitpick over, such as Nextel Cup races being held on Sunday instead of Saturday in most cases, unless it's a night race. Those are usually held on Saturday, like the second race at Daytona for example. I know that was already discussed here. I could also nitpick over Frank's eye color, since Dale had steel blue eyes and that Frank is not married, unlike Dale, who was married to Teresa for almost 20 years. But that stuff is kind of minor.

In my opinion, this was a good story to read. It brought up some of those good memories that Dale brought to so many people for 26 years. He is one of those special people that we will probably never see the likes of again.

#3 Forever


"It's not deja-vu. I read this book."
-Sam- Play It Again Seymour

"A normal day for me is not normal."
-Dale Earnhardt


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Hello Everyone!


This is Erik Dreiling and this is my first time to the VS bboards. I just finished reading all of your replies and I'm glad that you all enjoyed the episode. There were some things that I had to change unfortunately (like the fateful race being held on a Saturday instead of Sunday). A certain calendar date fell on a Saturday so that little goof was intentional. The title of the episode was taken from the popular song of the same name, which also inspired me to write this story. Unfortunately I did rush the writing of this episode a bit so even I was suprised by some of the goofs that were presented! LOL!

Also I wanted to tweak some minor details just enough to distinguish Strickland from Earnhardt but nonetheless I enjoyed writing it and it is one of my personal favorites.

Both my father and I were huge fans of Earnhardt and I too saw the fateful race on February 18, 2001, and still have the front page newspaper that headlines Earnhardt's death.

Plus...I got a kick just picturing Sam speeding around the racetrack!

I had thought that I replied to this when it aired, but I guess I didn't. I enjoyed this ep a lot. I am a big NASCAR fan. My favorite driver is Rusty Wallace. (I might follow Kurt Busch now. Maybe someone else. I haven't decided.)
But your story brought back a lot of memories of that day in 2001 when Dale Earnhardt Sr. lost his life. In my opinion, That was the biggest tragedy in NASCAR History. I don't have the headlines from that day, but I do have a comic that depicts Earnhardt flying to heaven. His robes are black with a big #3 on them. And it shows him saying "Man, these wings are great."