Yes, THAT Jay-Z song is slapping away in my cranium while I write this, but regardless, I don’t know if you remember me or not. I used blog about Indycar related stuff on occasion. Also, remember blogs? All the rage circa 2006.
I also used to be rather active and having fun on Twitter until “Space Karen” (aptly named by a friend) began doing his level best to ‘improve’ Twitter by buying it, taking it private, firing most everyone who had anything to do with its technical success to date, creating unwanted policies, and generally trying to solve problems that didn’t exist. That’s one way to be self-important I guess, but it definitely soured me on the format, I didn’t feel the need to participate so actively there anymore. I digress.
“and you may ask yourself, ‘Well, how did I get here?’ “
This blog originated in 2008 as a personal writing exercise and choosing a subject of interest, I thought, would aid in my desire to continue to exercise my writing muscles. It did and it didn’t, but what it and my twitter interactions gave me was the feeling of connection to people with a similar interest in Indycar.
I always liked that, but I also felt a bit of pressure to consistently produce something notable which also drained the fun from it. I also had become overloaded with everyday life things which meant that any unneeded stresses were to be reduced or eliminated, this included.
The time in space is agreeable now to return and perhaps espouse some truths, half-truths, and pure conjecture again, all under the banner of ‘opinion’ writing.
Take that for what it is, but I will always approach this exercise first from a fan’s perspective, and never would I flatter to deceive that I am in any way a journalist. There are several very talented, hardworking (and underpaid) individuals already doing that job and far too many in the blogosphere who deign to project themselves as ‘journalists’ who are actually not.
I am not that, nor ever aim to be, despite having several friends who are or are former journalists. I’m here for the fan-to-fun quotient and just maybe it also gives other fans something to enjoy that they haven’t yet seen. I can tell you right now that I’m much more enjoyable in-person than here, and the many I’ve known on twitter who I’ve met I believe would largely agree. I enjoy talking with Indycar fans from the virtual world. I also have a penchant for song lyrics and movie quotes so don’t be surprised if that theme continues here from years past.
“This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, This ain’t no fooling around”
Let’s also reintroduce Indycar back into the fore of our autosport consciousness after the (what seems interminable) off-season. No amount of practice/pre-season provides the energy of a real, race calendar, points-paying event. It only takes watching a qualifying session to see how much more about-the-business the teams and drivers are, and that adds to the anticipation.
So must I also now plug what a value the Peacock streaming service is in providing the ability to see the event practice and qualifying live, and later on-demand as your schedule allows.
This season’s curtain opened fully against the relatively new, and fully finished backdrop of the sport’s true first full-season following the pandemic and the Penske Entertainment purchase. 2022 was a more fuller step back into life in the post-Covid era.
Especially at the Indy 500, where things were declared ‘fully open’ again, the palpable sense of total ease wasn’t fully evident. Fair enough. We live in a different world and hopefully with a more mature and greater care for our fellow humans and ourselves as one, rather than the ‘me’ and the ‘everyone else’.
Not totally without connection, I believe the Indycar community is experiencing a greater need to be ‘one’, largely because F1 is rattling its sabers (rather effectively) once again within the shores of the US. What that ‘oneness’ is to be is always the sticking point.
Some believe the status quo is, while not perfect, still pretty great with only moderate tweaks needed. Others yearn for a time when more openness in design and evolution and pushing envelopes of performance, while more costly and less competitive overall, is still the hallmark of true greatness that endeared itself to many more people than today’s version. Still others are just learning what the sport is about and get to know rather quickly the disparate sides of fandom that believe they have the best idea of what the future needs to be. A topic for another time, perhaps.
“here’s your ticket, pack bags, time for jumping overboard…”
Race one, turn one wrecks are maybe the worst possible way to begin the new season for the viewers as well as the teams. We made it to turn three this time, but to me, it didn’t feel unexpected and not necessarily down to complete ineptitude of some young driver taking out a veteran. It was hard, committed racing less than one mile into the new season, but as we Indycar fans have come to expect, the championship will be a well-fought and very close battle all season long. We know what’s at stake every race and so do the teams.
Each position from qualifying through the checkered flag comes from hard work, craft, guile, (yes money too), and a bit of luck. Every race is significant and results that fail to meet expectations instantly begin to accumulate in the form of pressure on the remainder of the schedule, and intrigue for attentive fans. What more could we really ask for from sport?
As any grizzled, aging veteran fan knows, there is a vast history of how Indycar has been run and what it produced over the decades. I still have to remind myself that ultimately only what matters is the here and now. The rest is history, gone forever, no matter if one year ago or 100.
Can the sport learn from the successes and mistakes in its history? Absolutely. I also feel that Indycar perhaps could easily paraphrase the new-to-town basketball coach Norman Dale in the movie ‘Hoosiers’, while the locals chant for a revered player not on the team; “I would hope you would support us for who we are, not who we are not… This is your sport.”
Indycar still feels like home to me. Plenty others have the energy to analyze and opine about the minutiae of this sport. As for me, I’m just glad it’s still here and I look forward to some convivial Indycar interactions with you all again.
“Home – is where I want to be
But I guess I’m already there.
I come home – she lifted up her wings.
I guess that this must be the place…”