12
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When combined with a number, I form a race.
But combined with my position, it sounds like distaste.
Knock me over and I'm endless.
But to knock me in early would be careless.
I'm almost the smallest amount in here.
But my value is necessary to your survival out there.

Answer is one word.

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11
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You are:

EIGHT

When combined with a number, I form a race.

A number is a FIGURE. FIGURE + EIGHT gives Figure 8 Racing.
(Simultaneously hinted by OP in The Sphinx's Lair and offered by @Hugh Meyers in a comment.)

But combined with my position, it sounds like distaste.

Eighth letter is H. H + EIGHT ("ATE") sounds like HATE.

Knock me over and I'm endless.

An EIGHT sideways is ∞

But to knock me in early would be careless.

The EIGHT-ball, knocked in early, loses in billiards.

I'm almost the smallest amount in here.

EIGHT BITS = 1 byte, essentially the smallest data object used for information "here" in SE.
(From OP's comment on another answer)

But my value is necessary to your survival out there.

Element EIGHT on periodic table is Oxygen, which is absolutely necessary for survival "out there" in the Real World.

Title:

A lot of words end with -ATE, the sound of EIGHT.

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  • $\begingroup$ While the 800m does fit it's not the one I was thinking of. Not a literal number for a hint. $\endgroup$ – n_plum Jun 27 '17 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps Figure-8 racing? A number is a figure. $\endgroup$ – Hugh Meyers Jun 27 '17 at 15:53
  • $\begingroup$ @HughMeyers Nice - I was also fairly inspired from your riddles lately - more so on a thematic sense, as mine is far less clever than yours :) $\endgroup$ – n_plum Jun 27 '17 at 15:55
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    $\begingroup$ @n_palum Cool! Nice to feel I've made a contribution. I enjoyed your riddle as well. $\endgroup$ – Hugh Meyers Jun 27 '17 at 19:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Those clues are so good at misdirection, I guessed "eight" almost immediately and then gave up thinking I was nowhere near. $\endgroup$ – Darren Ringer Jun 27 '17 at 20:41
5
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Answer:

8

2:

H8

3:

8 on its side is the infinity symbol

5:

It is one of the smaller numbers

If anyone can explain the other clues that would be great, I don't have much time to ponder them currently.

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  • $\begingroup$ Title: the word has a few homophones. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jun 27 '17 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ "knocked in early": the 8-ball in the game of pool. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jun 27 '17 at 15:44
5
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I got ninja'd twice while writing this but I'm posting it anyway.

I think you are

Eight


When combined with a number, I form a race.

Not sure, but could be the 800 metres

But combined with my position, it sounds like distaste.

H8 => Hate

Knock me over and I'm endless.

This is the clincher for me: 8 rotated 90 degrees becomes the infinity symbol ∞

But to knock me in early would be careless.

In 8-ball pool, knocking in the 8-ball before the other seven loses you the game.

I'm almost the smallest amount in here.

8 bits = 1 byte

But my value is necessary to your survival out there.

@Rubio got this one: the 8th element is oxygen, which we need to breathe

Title

"Eight" is the longest one-syllable number

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  • $\begingroup$ One of your lines is actually the intended answer for a different line that both others are missing. $\endgroup$ – n_plum Jun 27 '17 at 15:40
3
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You are:

Eight

When combined with a number, I form a race.

The 'number' is Pi, Eighth Race Pie.

But combined with my position, it sounds like distaste.

The position in the alphabet is H, H8, Hate.

Knock me over and I'm endless.

Eight (8) 'knocked over' on its side is the infinity symbol.

But to knock me in early would be careless.

'Knocking out' the 8-Ball in pool would cause you to lose.

I'm almost the smallest amount in here.

8 is one of the lowest numbers.

But my value is necessary to your survival out there.

Oxygen has an atomic value of 8. Which is necessary for our survival.

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  • $\begingroup$ While the race one is interesting, that is not intended, otherwise this adds nothing new from the other existing answers. $\endgroup$ – n_plum Jun 27 '17 at 15:54
  • $\begingroup$ Could you elaborate on "Eighth Race Pie"? I'm not familiar with it. $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Jun 27 '17 at 15:54
  • $\begingroup$ @n_palum I thought it was a reach! $\endgroup$ – BreakingMyself Jun 27 '17 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ @F1Krazy it's a type of chocolate pie. $\endgroup$ – BreakingMyself Jun 27 '17 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ @BreakingMyself Ah, I see, that's quite a clever interpretation. $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Jun 27 '17 at 15:56

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