Lee Talbot, an environmental science professor at Virginia's George Mason University, has been racing – in a formula car, oval-track sports racer, or vintage roadster – since 1948. At age 73, he shows no signs of slowing down. "I've been winning well over half the events I've entered, and this is against people who are on average 50 years younger than I am!"

His wife and two sons travel to North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia to watch him compete in what he describes as an enforced mental vacation. "You've got to concentrate 100%. It actually gets you farther from your work ... than most endeavors I know of." Yet racing and ecology have their parallels: "In an ecosystem everything is interrelated one way or another. ... In racing you have systems also, which involve the car and you, the track and the weather conditions, [and] all the other cars...

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