Monday, October 24, 2011

IndyCar Drivers Abroad

This weekend, the racing community said goodbye to Dan Wheldon in both St. Petersburg and Indianapolis with moving, heartfelt ceremonies. Meanwhile, early Sunday morning, those of us in the U.S. watched a different for of tribute for Dan. S├ębastien Bourdais took home the Dan Wheldon Trophy as best international driver at the Gold Coast 600 for V8 Super Cars.

It was an emotional moment, and Sebas choked up during his acceptance speech. But really, multiple IndyCar alumni, including Bourdais, Simon Pagenaud, Helio Castroneves, and Alex Tagliani, among others, gave a good accounting of themselves this weekend.

Now, I'll admit it: I'm primarily an IndyCar fan. I enjoy a few other motorsports series as well, but none so well as IndyCar. Yet in a week where the motorsports world has had to mourn the passing not only of Wheldon but also MotoGP racer Marco Simoncelli, we are harshly reminder of how there truly is a larger racing community. A look at the F1, NASCAR, IndyCar, and other drivers coming together for Graham Rahal's Wheldon family benefit auction remind us of that as well.

It's part of the reason I feel it's important to see IndyCar drivers try their hand at these other racing disciplines. Whether it's Sebas at the Gold Coast or Graham Rahal as part of the winning team at this year's 24 Hours of Daytona, these sorts of events not only put IndyCar and its drivers in a good light, but serve to strengthen the bonds with other racing communities.

Not only do these events continue to expose IndyCar talent to potential fans in other series, but they serve as a welcome distraction during the off-season.

So, yeah, bring on the Gold Coast 600s, Daytonas, and Sebrings of the world. Hopefully, IndyCar drivers will continue to do themselves and their series proud in these types of events.

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