Author Topic: R.I.P  (Read 3751 times)

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Offline SPONGEZILLA

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Re: R.I.P. - - - - - 77/36 (from my Facebook)
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2011, 07:33:38 PM »
Quote
I posted this...

https://www.facebook.com/notes/marcus-mackey/7736/10150352005478236

...on my Facebook after Adam's posted note earlier.

Yesterday we lost 2 fierce competitors, 2 incredible talents, 2 champions and 2 fathers.  One periled doing what he loved, in the midsts of battle, well in excess of 200 miles per hour.  The other past on while flying back with his younger brother (and a racer himself) and partner and an unidentified person in a plane crash on their way back from competing in Arizona, attempting to return home from doing what they love...  racing.

Some struggle with why we love the sport of motor racing.  They try to find the mentality of why anyone would want to drive a race vehicle at the absolute borderline of spinning out, the potential of crashing, the potential for injury or death.  They wonder why any of us would risk our lives to experience all of that.  Why we can somehow condone or support such a perilous existence, as-if, what we all saw yesterday was the standard of every event we attend.  As-if plane crashes are common.  As if 100's die each and every weekend strapping into a race car.  They wonder why, as fans, we will go to an event knowing that there's incredible danger anytime a competitor puts on the nomex suit and straps on the helmet.

We just love the competition of it all.

There's a lot of things that can be made safer and there's always the goal (as well it should be) to make things as safe as possible.  Things like the HANS (head and neck restraint) device.  Things like the very fire suit and helmet I noted earlier, came in the aftermath of learning from others' peril.  It's gruesome to think of that...  but it's the truth.  As good as we are, we can always get better.  As safe as we can get...  we'll never be safe.  There is no perfection here.  For every gain there is a loss.  For every improvement in safety to build confidence and make us feel better about strapping in, there's a gain in horsepower, a gain in braking, a gain in technology in tires and electronics that makes the car that much faster/quicker.  What was designed to work well at an average speed of 200 might not work at 225, or 300, or 400...  etc.  Even if it works well it can't take into account all scenarios.  Nobody can.

I say that even speaking of one of our local competitors.  The area racer Chad Borg, who while racing at Kankakee Speedway in the 1990's was involved in an incredible wreck that has kept him out of racing ever since and took away his ability to walk is but one example.  I was not in attendance that night, but from what I've heard it was an incredibly unfortunate event and one that highlighted some of the dangers of racing at the grassroots level.  If your multi-million dollar teams and top-tier forms of motorsport aren't always 100% prepared for the safest of safe venues, the best designed walls, the properly configured track to the car's abilities, the best and most stringent safety requirements...  what does that say for the weekly and regional racer?  It's something to think about.  Even there though, if you think Chad has sworn off racing and demonized the racing world around him you'd be wrong.  I know that he's still as much a fan as he ever was, still loves it just as he did when he strapped in the car to compete.  I only wished for him, as we all wish for each other in this racing family...  that what happened never did.  That he still had the opportunity to do it.  Just as we feel the same for the Dan Wheldon's, Rick Huseman's, Jeff Huseman's, Ayrton Senna's, Roland Ratzenberger's, Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s, Davey Allison's, Kenny Irwin Jr.'s and Adam Petty's.  That's just a handful of our fallen brethren.  That doesn't take into account those that were injured on the track, injured officials, injured crew members, and injured fans or any of those that periled from attending or participating in what they love.  Life is full of danger, it's a dangerous world out there...  we're all lucky to have the time here we get.  Many aren't even that fortunate.

Yet, we as racers, race fans, race promoters...  we're a family.  Incidences like this knock the wind out of us, but they do not stop us from doing what we love.  We just try to do it better.  We just try to learn from the situations and try to make things better.  We try not to let them die in vain.  We try to gain from the loss, to improve the technology, to make things safer, to help increase the survivability and limit the dangers.  Yeah it might deflate us but, we will rise again and hold them to the light as we do.  You can count on that with each and every last one of us.  That is how we are.

Tony Kanaan said it best yesterday when he spoke to the tune of, "If I were to die I'd want to do it doing what I loved.  Doing this right here."  He said that he was sure that Dan Wheldon felt the same.  This wasn't just a fierce competitor he spoke of.  This was his former teammate.  This was...  his friend.  I'm sure that if you asked Rick Huseman if flying to/from an event was the safest means...  he'd probably tell you it was safer to fly to/from than drive to/from.  The facts are there's more wrecks on the interstate that take lives than there are deaths in plane crashes.

That said though, regardless...  accidents happen.  That's why they're called accidents.  You never know when it's going to happen but we all take the risk because the rewards are that great.  Just like you can't wrap someone in bubble wrap and send them off to work, can't put them in a bubble to keep the germs away from them that could cause their last breath...  such is life.  It is a risk just waking up.  That is as it should be.  If there was no risk, there'd be no reward.  Life is fun because you experience things that a drone doesn't.  Sure we could protect ourselves from the world but in doing so, we'd prevent ourselves from experiencing the world.  What kind of meager existence would that be if we homogenized and sanitized everything for our protection to the point it was like living in a vaccuum?  That's not the world I'd want to live in, I don't know about you?

Barry Braun (https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=174048142681217) made an eloquent posting last night about his experiences in the racing media world, working with trackside video cameras.  Taking shots with still cameras.  Speaking of the people that work in the pits, the track officials on the track, and the fans in the stands.  We all take a risk anytime we walk into one of these venues.  We wouldn't have it any other way though.  Barry loves what he does, he's all about this sport.  When Steve Jobs spoke at the Stanford Commencement about finding your love, living your life.  Barry is living that dream.

My pal Adam (Zuidema) made a fantastic post earlier today (https://www.facebook.com/notes/adam-zuidema/an-untimely-loss-of-racing-hero/2270320951527) about how we all identify with one another, all of us racers.  That's no joke.  Racers, race fans, racing personnel...  we all are a part of a unique fraternity that we all tend to call, "the racing family."  Just because we haven't met personally doesn't mean we don't take it on the chin when a brother-in-arms becomes another casualty amongst the fallen heroes of the sport we all dearly love.  I've already been in a bit of a funk of late at the loss of one of my tech heroes (Steve Jobs) to the perils of cancer (something that my family has battled more than it's fair share of over the years), but the deaths of Rick Huseman and Dan Wheldon yesterday were like a sucker punch to the gut that I lived with all day today.  My spirit, like a flag, was flown at half mast all day.  My mind constantly on their loss even as I woke up, got dressed, pulled my shoes on like any other work day and braved the world around me.  I admittedly have been beside myself.  I've shed more tears than I care to admit the last 2 days.  I've never met Dan, but what I've read of him made me feel like I've known him forever.  We not only lost a great driver, but a great person, a charismatic personality that flies in the face of so many racers brought up to belch out sponsors on command.  A competitor in the mold of the classics.  What I knew of him from watching him race, I already knew he was one of the great ones.  I've felt that way for years.

All of that pain and yet, this is what we do.  This is what we love.  It hurts because we know how they felt, knew that they felt that way too and we hate to see anyone hurt or peril doing what we all have the common bond of sharing.  I hate it for their families that have lost, their kids that won't get to learn from their dad...  to toss a ball around or get a pat on the back when they need it most, even as their families know as well as most of us that this is who they were and what made them tick.  The wives that dated them when they were coming through the ranks, that stood around biting their nails, fingers crossed hoping for the win and to come home safe...  knew what they were getting themselves into, they just hoped that for the longest time that it wouldn't be their own.We all identify even if we never had the extreme privilege to shake hands and share stories.  That's why we're a family like no other.  We might not share the same blood, but the adrenaline that flows through our veins is a constant tie.  It's like we all came from the same adrenaline type, if adrenaline truly were to have a type (sort of like blood does) that bound and tied us all together.  We might not always get along, might not all like each other all of the time, might not all adhere to the same opinions or perceptions of the sport but we all share a common thread and that is our total passion for what we do, how we do it, and why we're all there.

For those that don't get it, that don't get the risk, that don't get the allure this is about the best way I can describe it.  The talent involved, the machinery, the speed, the exhiliaration, the competition of racing side by side and wheel to wheel, lap after lap...  it's what we live for.  It's what makes us drive to the tracks to experience it ourselves.  To smell the burning racing fuel, to experience the pomp and circumstances, to hear the announcers barking over the rumble of the engines.  It's what makes us strap on helmets and suits, or tinker with the car to make it faster with the hope of helping our driver take home the win.  It's why grassroots car owners spend a large fortune to make a small fortune, not for the profits to be had...  but for the life they live, the sport they love and the experiences that they enjoy regularly.It's why we pay extra at the pit gate to sign a disclaimer/waiver to go be there with the characters of the sport, to talk to them personally, to be up close and personal with equipment that could more easily kill any of us at any given time if we're not observant of the dangers around us, careful of our surroundings, and more than a bit lucky.  It's why racing media people trek across the country covering the sport for us race fans.  They love it, we all love it...  it is an intrinsic part of our soul.

Godspeed Dan, Rick, and Jeff.  My thoughts and prayers are with your friends, fans and your families.

« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 10:19:00 PM by SPONGEZILLA »


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Offline SoloGraphix

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Re: R.I.P
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2011, 09:01:49 PM »
Very well done sir.  I still can't put my finger on exactly what makes the loss of Dan Wheldon so especially difficult.  The fact that it is let's me know that we truly lost one of the great ones.  The news if Huseman just made the day that much more somber.

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Offline SPONGEZILLA

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Re: R.I.P
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2011, 08:17:39 AM »
Quote from: @kyleleduc99 on Twitter
Sadly yesterday was Rick and Jeff's mothers birthday  :( she said its gonna be tough to have another happy b-day ever again without her boys.

 :'(


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Offline SaldanaRacingProducts

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Re: R.I.P
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2011, 11:29:06 AM »
Dan Wheldon's Memorial Service will be held on October 23rd at 4pm at Conseco Fieldhouse. It will also be aired on Versus from 4 pm to 5 pm EST.

Starting Oct 19: Wheldon Fund--Fifth Third Private bank. 251 N. Illinois St., Ste. 1000. Indianapolis, IN 46204. Attn: Wheldon Family Trust

Offline SaldanaRacingProducts

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Re: R.I.P
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2011, 10:06:49 AM »
INDYCAR will hold a public memorial service to celebrate the life of IZOD IndyCar Series driver Dan Wheldon at 4 p.m. (ET) Sunday, Oct. 23 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

The memorial also will be broadcast on IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com, VERSUS and on several Indianapolis network affiliates.

Wheldon, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and 2005 IZOD IndyCar Series champion, died from injuries suffered in a racing accident Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He is survived by his wife, Susie, and two young sons. Wheldon was 33.

Public Schedule
1:30 p.m.:         Doors to the Conseco Fieldhouse Indiana University Health Pavilion will be open.

There will be two large banners in memory of Wheldon for fans to sign and leave brief messages. A large photograph of Wheldon will be on display, and guests are encouraged to use this location for placement of cards, notes and other mementos for the family. In lieu of flowers, guests are encouraged to make a donation to the Dan Wheldon Family Trust. Donation boxes will be set up in two locations for guests to leave contributions.

Seating in the arena will not be available at this time.

2:30 p.m.:         General seating opens.
           
Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis in arena non-floor seats for the general public.

Floor seats are reserved for family, special guests and the INDYCAR community. INDYCAR community members are encouraged to bring their hard card for identification. Seating for this group will be on a first-come, first-served basis on the floor of the arena from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Access to the floor will be available via the main concourse stairways through sections 3 thru 17.

All seating in and entrance to the arena is subject to availability.

3:30 p.m.:         Music, including the Indianapolis Children's Choir and video presentation begins.

4-5 p.m.:          A Celebration of the Life of Dan Wheldon

Parking
Parking in the Virginia Avenue Garage will be free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. The garage is located on the southeast corner of Delaware and Maryland streets, immediately east of Conseco Fieldhouse.

Offline SPONGEZILLA

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Re: R.I.P
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2011, 03:53:42 PM »
 :(  This has been a terrible month for motorsports...  we lost Marco Simoncelli at the Malaysian Grand Prix event (MotoGP) today.  He was 24 years old.  :(  Thoughts and prayers with his family, friends and fans.


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