Sunday, May 26, 2013

Indy 500 Morning Thoughts

The radar forecast has, as always, been of more concern to me the past week than in the other 51 weeks of the year combined. We were told it might rain during the race, it might not, we could be hit with a deluge in the morning, or a pop-up shower in the afternoon. Even now, I'm not fully sure what the day holds. If it rains, well, Indy has been hit with rain before on race day, and will again. We'll get through it.

Rain or shine, this has been another amazing month at Indianapolis. I don't think I could ever feel less than privileged to spend time here, and I'm so grateful for the opportunities I've had. When I started my site just a few years ago, I never would have thought I'd be able to interview drivers, walk the pits, or get even a hint of what goes on behind the scenes. There's not a day goes by that I don't love being out here.

Going back even further, before IndyCar Advocate began, and I was just a homesick new dad deployed overseas, missing his family and home very much, there were times when it seemed like I'd never make it back here, that I'd never see this place again. There were Memorial Day weekends spend trying to follow the race on Armed Forces television, with a reception that was more snow than race.

So why am I spilling my guts on race morning? Perhaps because this is a weekend to think about those who didn't make it home, who didn't get to live out a dream. Perhaps it's simply because I continue to be able to do something I love, and I immensely mindful of that this morning. Perhaps it's because it's very easy to see those who have forgotten just a bit of what makes this special, and how fortunate we are to do what we do. I thank all of you for giving me a chance to follow this dream by reading what I write, and allowing me to share in turn with you.

This is the best time of the day at Indy. The incredible cacophony from the night before has quieted down, and there's just the early morning expectancy, of the dark slowly fading into the first few colors of light, and the Pagoda, standing as a beacon for all race fans. It's a time of hope, a hope that renews every race morning every year, no matter how often our favorite hits the Turn 4 wall, no matter how many times the guy who really loves this place falls just short, or the race doesn't go just as we'd hoped.

I know sometimes that my IndyCar thoughts are seen as overly optimistic, or always glass half full, but there's a very good reason for that. I genuinely love every minute of this. I can't fathom being a part of a culture of negativity. And just like race mornings, there's always hope. Even when there's the threat of rain on race day, you can complain and shake your fist at the clouds, or you can grab an umbrella and go out to enjoy what you love.

That probably seems a bit short of profound, and I'll admit, profundity is probably a skill in which I am easily surpassed. But really, I think my advice for today, or any race day, is this: you only get so many Indy 500s, and so many IndyCar races. Spend them appreciating what you have, and the fact that an awful lot of people never got the chance to be in your seat, whether it's in J-Stand, Tower Terrace, or on the sofa at home.

IndyCar is the best racing on the planet right now. We've had an incredible season, and whether or not your favorite driver wins, all signs point to another great race today. However it unfolds, from a brand-new champion to even a rain delay, I'll be grateful, honored, and thrilled to spend another Memorial Day Weekend at the Greatest Race Course in the World.

Now, stay tuned for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing...

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic post, and fantastic perspective. It's going to be a great day. Enjoy, Zachary.