"So whadda we do now? …We wait"


The Superbowl not 24 hours old, Indycar fans who populate the Twitterverse almost immediately set about lamenting the amount of time we still have to wait for the 2013 Indycar season to start. 

This reminds me a bit of people (mostly younger, some old enough to know better) who choke down Thanksgiving dinner, speed through valued family time, and wait outside stores to be granted prime ‘Black Friday’ access. I prefer to sit back, wait until mid-December to go cut a fresh tree and decorate it before I go out and begin shopping. Just seems a more natural progression, allowing my enthusiasm to not be stretched to the limit.

So, while I can appreciate the eagerness to begin Indycar anew for 2013, I’m just not quite about to lament yet. I say, “Relaaaax people, there’s too much that must come first.”

Perhaps it is because I’m getting older (sometimes a week seems like three days) and my patience grows with every year, but I prefer that my spring builds up annually, traditionally, and quite steadily around the following events:

1. The NCAA basketball tournament (mid-March to early-April),
2. The Masters ‘gawf toonamint’ (to use the ‘Hootie Johnson’ accent, mid-April),
3. The Kentucky Derby (early May), 
4. The Indianapolis 500 (mid-late May).

It is clear for most sports fans to see that there is MUCH beloved and long-standing tradition in those sporting events and I wouldn’t have it any other way. To fall in-line and march steadily through spring with those grand events is quite comforting (as our good friend George over at Oilpressure.com could most certainly attest). 

So, with apologies to all the über-obsessive Indycar acolytes, my personal clock will only allow the Indycar season to begin in earnest with the 500. Everything else prior, I consider a bonus. With this approach I find myself able to put the near-manic desire for open-wheel engine roars aside until May, leaving myself pleasantly surprised when the Sebring test pops up or the haulers load into St. Pete.

Meanwhile, y’all sit tight until late-March. As I noted back in October, I think the off-season is a GREAT time to bone-up on your Indycar history and maybe never so easy as to play some trivia to pass the time. 

Follow me on Twitter @groundedeffects and you’ll see my (usually-) regular Indycar Trivia question (follow hashtag #DZsIndycarTrivia) which comes out approximately at Noon EST weekdays with the answer to follow approximately 1pm. No money, no prizes, just some Indycar fun over the lunch-hour and possibly some Twitterverse glory should you get an answer right! 

Ol’ Jeff Spicoli had it right while he was learnin’ about Cuba, havin’ some food..’, and certainly there’s nothing wrong with a little feast on our time. So instead of Cuban history, learn some Indycar history in the process.

Equinox

The Equinox is a moment in time when the orbit of the Earth (on its tilted axis) crosses a point in the orbit where it is directly aligned with the plane of the sun.  As the earth rotates on this day, March 20, 2012, the sun will appear directly overhead when viewed from the equator and always on the horizon when viewed from the geographic poles. It is also one of only two days of each year when the sunrise to sunset time is closest to being 12 hours difference.


Symbolically this day signals change: days become longer than nights; and, as the sun marches northward in the sky, a welcome warming begins the spring season in the Northern hemisphere. 


I happen to think it is terrific, even if perhaps unintentional, that the first race of this Indycar season occurs on the weekend following the March equinox. After this long and tumultuous off-season, especially following the October race in Las Vegas, and on the cusp of   seeing the newest generation of Indycars, I am more than ready to step into the light of a new season. 


Despite my eagerness for racing action (and fears of driver impatience), I also wish to take this symbolic moment for one last thoughtful pause before the Indycar wheels again are turned in full contest in this newest of seasons. You’ll pardon me while I borrow from the spirit of the annual prayer prior to the start of the Indy 500…

  • Remember and honor those who’ve gone before us. Pass on to others the goodness they gave.
  • Help us continue to wish for the safety of all involved in this sport of racing – drivers, crews, engineering, track personnel, fans, families, media, and everyone involved.
  • Allow us to find examples of the goodness to be found in witnessing sporting competitions.
  • Bless this sport with continued energy and growth.
  • Give us all moments to cherish and celebrate.
In doing so, may we all, through this sport, find the light within ourselves and others.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s go racing again!