Friday, December 23, 2011

The Joy Of IndyCar

I was going to write a Christmas article this year either doing one of the innumerable “Twas The Night Before Christmas” parodies that flood the internet this time of year, or possibly a fake “wish list” for the various teams for laughs. Instead, I’m going a far more boring route, but I hope in the spirit of the season, you’ll bear with me for a minute.

For me, Christmas isn’t just a time of joy and celebration; it’s also a time for thankfulness. We think nothing of taking the time to thank someone who has given us a present underneath our Christmas tree, but all too often fail to show thankfulness for the other blessings in our lives.

From the teams to the drivers to my fellow fans, we’re each part of a season that only comes around once. We are so incredibly fortunate, but I think at times we concentrate on that we perceive to be imperfect instead. Every minute, every race, every championship only comes along once, and we are so immensely lucky to be even a small part of it all. We forget how privileged we are, how amazing it is we get to see these men and women race, how incredible it is to take a child to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time, that sense in your gut in the moment when dozens of cars roar past, how we rally or sink behind our favorite driver’s victory or defeat, and that euphoric, unmistakable feeling when we know we’ve seen a great upset or tremendous finish.

If there’s a time of year where just the simple awareness of how very cool this all is should be able to trump cynicism, this should be it. Life is too short to spend it pining for what we don’t have, especially when we have so much. If that makes me a Pollyanna or the owner of “rose-colored glasses”, I can live with it.

If you’ve had a rough run of it lately in IndyCar, if you’ve found your enthusiasm is flagging, I hope this Christmas you rediscover some of that joy. The history of IndyCar is immense, the storylines countless, the machinations, strategies, and surprises endless. Watching the eyes of my preschool son light up at IMS this year when the cars zoomed past on the track, I was reminded once more that the world does us a disservice at times, expecting us to have a critical eye of each and every thing as we grow up. We forget how to look at things and just take them for the simple happiness and excitement they bring. May we each remember to take our simple joys in life like that once again.

IndyCar is a family—one with plenty of weird uncles, distant cousins, and relatives you can’t decide whether to hug or throw out the door, but a family all the more because of it. Being a part of IndyCar, and getting to share it with both my immediate family and my “extended” IndyCar family, is really the best gift I could have asked for and received this holiday season.

This Christmas season, I find myself thankful for everyone who’s been a part of this wild IndyCar rollercoaster. When I started this site and began to write for INDYCAR Nation as well, I could never have imagined the sort of friendships that would be formed. Your letters, kind comments, and words of support have a knack for turning around the worst of days for me.

I’ll be enjoying the next few days with friends and loved ones, and I hope each of you have the chance to do the same. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, God Bless, and my absolute best wishes for each of you in the coming year.


  1. Great post, and great perspective, Zachary. Thanks for all your work here all year long.

  2. Thanks for reading!