So, here we find ourselves again. Welcome back! Insert excuses galore, but the break was more due to soul searching than anything else. A few nights ago, I was navigating the crazy waters of youtube and stumbled across the much maligned 1997 Indy 500 finish; my first 500. I watched those wonky last few laps click off and, like so many of us when we walk down memory lane, was transported back to that odd Tuesday afternoon in May 15 years ago.
Even though I was almost totally uninterested, any teenager worth his weight couldn’t not be captivated by the sights sounds and speeds seen at The Speedway. I fell in love with racing all over again, if only for a single afternoon. To this day, 1997 is still my favorite running of the Memorial Day Classic. I was captivated by the spectacle of it all. It may have been a blessing that I was ignorant to the politics of the month leading up to raceday.
Over the past two months, I found myself asking the same question. Why do I care about the politics of a group of overpaid suit jockeys when there is so much meat outside of the boardroom to digest? The politics side of the sport is simply another draw for me… there… I said it. Did I still feel stabbed in the back when Randy got fired? Of course, but why? My heart is with the track, the equipment and the drivers. The boardroom is nothing more than a keystone cop sideshow to make us all laugh until the engines are fired again.
I really wish they wouldn’t keep shooting themselves in the foot though. Then again, are they actually doing that? Who says they keep taking one step back? It’s not like there are any casual fans left to sway with “tightening the ship”. Let’s be honest: motorsports as a whole is a dying footnote of Americana that is still hanging on somehow by a miraculous thread. International series are born quickly and are buried even faster and the pinnacle of motorports, Formula 1, is funded with a whole lot of dirty money.
But that doesn’t make it not fun to watch, it surely doesn’t make the cars any slower or the drivers any less daring, and I am plain going to watch anyway. Our beloved open wheeled series, from the inside (that’s us, blog readers and twitter users), looks like it is on the brink of collapse, but I can’t shake the feeling that we are not in as dire shape as we thought two months ago. I can never get any dang perspective on the 220 mile per hour train wreck we are all on. And I never will be able to and neither will you. Not even if you walk away.
When you broke up with your high school sweetheart, you could never go back to just being friends. No one into this crazy racing thing as much as we are will ever be able to have any reliable perspective regarding the health or well-being of said racing. But we want it to be big, we need it to be big. It would be a sad and painful day if the series folds and the Indy 500 becomes a standalone event, but life would continue as it always does. And who knows, an even better series could rise from the ashes.
Addiction is a terrible thing and we are all truly in the icy grips of it. Eventually withdraw resides and clarity follows. I don’t want to think about life after indycar, but I am aware that the indycarpocalypse is a very real possibility. And I will watch until I am the last man standing.
Two months it took to decide I cared. Why would I not?! Racing is cool, fast, sexy, romantic and dangerous. The best all-around athletes in the world also happen to drive racecars. And why Indy? Because I was raised on it. If I was born in Charlotte, you very well could be reading anothernascarblog, who knows? And I am addicted to it. I want my fill as many weekends as possible with one blackout party a year.
But do I care enough to keep writing; that was the real question. As an admitted addict, late in the 2009 season I found the indycar blogging community and it only fueled my fire. I couldn’t get enough, and by early 2011 there simply wasn’t enough “stuff” for me to read so I dug this hole you find yourselves in today. And I still feel that way. Indycar racing is just not talked about enough and I can help with that, so I do… because I love to.
My week wasn’t the same without it. I still read, but there could always be more. No promises of weekly off-season posts just yet, but I am so pumped for the season to start that I can guarantee the in-season shenanigans you have come to expect will return in force.
Indycar really excites me and I know it excites you too, why else would you have made it through this drivel. There is so much to look forward to that I cannot escape the kittens and rainbows right now. I am glowing in anticipation about the coming season, an ever evolving silly season, and another busy off-season. From my super biased perspective we are set to have another amazing year ahead of us, let’s just hope there are more people around to share in the excitement.
Hmm. I feel a post-non-Mayan-apocalypse screed coming on, too. Great comments, and you KNOW I feel the same way. FTW, brother (the old school FTW, by the way). We’ll share another Race Day shot on the bricks this year.