Mid-Ohio is extra-special for me this year, because one of my favorite drivers, Martin Plowman, will finally get his chance in the “big cars” in his IZOD IndyCar Series race debut.
As part of the AFS/SSM/Kingdom Racing effort at Mid-Ohio, Infineon, and Baltimore, Plowey returns to the site of his 2010 Firestone Indy Lights victory on his way to finishing P3 in the overall standings that year. Here are 5 big reasons I'll be cheering for him throughout his 2011 campaign:
1) He’s A Good Dude
Plowey was selected earlier this year as part of the 500 Centennial Tour that visited US and UK troops deployed overseas. He’s been a big backer of the military (see some of his efforts on our sidebar, like the Wounded Warrior Project), and his partnership with the good folks at Kingdom Racing (as part of their spiritual mission) is just icing on the cake. He also has been an advocate for causes such as Karting for the Disabled. In a paddock full of good guys (and ladies), he stands tall.
2) He’s Sponsored By An Amazing Charity
Snowball Express does some amazing work, giving the children and families of our fallen heroes a wonderful trip they’ll never forget. Seriously, you can't help but tear up when you read about some of what they do. They’ll be nicely prominent on Plowey’s ride as a key sponsor for all his races in 2011, and I can think of a better car to cheer on.
3) He’ll Be Really, Really Hard To Miss
We always hear fans complain about boring liveries. The 17 car has definitely gone the other way on this one:
I don’t care if he’s racing at the front, mid-pack, or in the back, you can’t miss that design. And that’s toned down from where it was! I personally really dig the AFS red-and-yellow, and this is a cool variant on that.
4) He Was My First In-Person IndyCar Interview
He probably doesn’t remember, but when I went to the INDYCAR Winter Meetings, I stuck a recorder in front of Plowey’s face and did a short 2-3 minute interview with him. It seems like a little thing, but it was a confidence builder that gave me the feeling I wasn’t totally out of my element.
5) You Gotta Go For The Underdog
Most rookies are, by nature, underdogs to some point. Of course, predicitions are all over the map on how Plowey will do, but I’ve got faith. It's always cool to see how drivers do when they do get their chance. There's just something really awesome about seeing someone achieve their dream. It’s going to be awesome cheering on Plowey while he lives out his on Sunday.