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Pulsating/Lurching '01 Ford Focus

I have a '01 Ford Focus ZTS w/ 109,000 miles. And it consistently “pulsates” when I’m driving down the road. Like every second or 2, it lurches. And the RPM meter doesn’t show any fluctuations in the engine revs, while this is happening. I only notice it at slower, city driving speeds. But I’m sure it happens at higher speeds as well, I just don’t notice because of the road noise and vibration.

This has only started happening recently, like within the past couple weeks. And just before it began, I went on a mini-road trip on a hilly and curvy road, which was very nicely paved. And as I was ascending one of the hills, I noticed a corner to the right, immediately after it. So I hit the brakes, but it didn’t slow down enough. So I ended up squealing around the corner. But the thing is that just as I reached the apex of the hill and began the corner, there came a loud clanking/popping sound from the front drivers wheel area. It sounded like crashing metal. As you can imagine this concerned me greatly. So at the next available time, I pulled over and looked around in there. And to me, nothing looked out of the ordinary. So I just thought it was the spring/shock going from almost fully extended when exiting the hill, to being fully compressed again on the corner. But now I’m not so sure.

I was wondering if that contributed to the pulsating lurches I’m getting when I drive me car now. Or is it because my tires are being worn unevenly? Because I am in need of new tires here pretty soon.

Or could it be that my brakes are warped or unevenly wore down from the excessive braking during my mini-road trip? I do have 4-wheel disc brakes. It used to have rear drums, but we replaced them w/ rear discs quite a few years ago.

Also, I’m not sure if this contributes in any way, but I have been driving it fairly hard lately. Not to the extreme, but every once and awhile I’ll take off fast from a stop and let it hit 5,000 revs before shifting (it’s a manual), just to get the max horsepower and what-not. I was wondering if that high revs and hard take-offs have been doing bad things to my car.

I mean, I love my car, and I really like how much power and quickness it has. So naturally, I like to put it all out there every once and a while.

So yeah, I was just wondering if this pulsating/lurching is a huge mechanical issue or just something like worn out tires that I can deal w/ for another few months??