*dusts off keyboard*

Well well well… what do we have here 2022… the year of the comeback?

I miss my friend…

While I’m waiting for the practice to start, I figured I would blow the dust of the old blog and clear the cobwebs. This was written on the plane on my way home from St. Petes… I wasn’t sure if I would post or not,  but a #TBT post by my BFF Carol this week reminded me of the weekend we became “besties”, in 2008 at Long Beach, and it tied in perfectly with this post as it revolves around the same people…

There is a common theme among the racing community. We all refer to each other as our “racing family”. Be it the drivers, or series workers, or media colleagues, or fans, we are bonded together by this crazy thing called racing.

We travel together, work together, eat together, fight together, laugh together, and cry together.
We embrace the highs, and learn to live with the lows.

Each season by choice, situation, or by tragedy, our family gets slightly smaller.
Drivers don’t return, teams downsize or shut down, people retire or get let go from their jobs, spouses pass on, and there is a domino effect that ripples throughout the community.

This year the most noticeable void, for me personally, is the big man himself not walking his lanky self down pit lane, a palpable and obvious loss made more poignantly evident by the very many tribute t-shirts and stickers seen throughout the grandstands and paddocks all weekend at each event.

But it’s also the not so obvious loss that I was feeling all weekend when I was in St. Petes. (and subsequently now, this weekend, watching Long Beach from afar)

By losing Justin, I also lose Julia and the girls on site. I lose Stefan and his new wife Katie on pitlane supporting his big brother. I lose Keith and Lynne Wilson flying over for certain races, with whom I had the great pleasure of joining on several occasions for meals and conversation. I lose conversing with his longtime PR support team. And I selfishly lose the company of one of my best racing friends, who was one of Justin’s investors from the early days of his open wheel career, and my race weekend roomie for almost a decade.

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We attended St.Petersburg four times together. All of my memories of this race and this town include her, and many include the aforementioned people. Memories popped up like ghosts while walking the grounds and the city and it just felt like something was missing.

But it was only as I sat on the plane reflecting back on my weekend, that I realized that, despite the awesome company I was keeping, something indeed was missing. A very large portion of my extended racing family. With each season, more and more familiar faces fade into memories. The faces I took for granted smiling at me from across the media centre, or looking up from the pit stall, or waving down from the grandstands.

Eventually I’ll be the face that fades away, and perhaps someone will muse “I miss my friend” about me.

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Meesh’s Milestone Marathon!

Hello my friends! In 6 DAYS!! On October 18, 2015, I will once again be participating in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon as part of Team Cargill Cares, raising funds for Ronald McDonald House Toronto.
This year I decided to up my game as well as my mileage and will run my first ever HALF MARATHON!! (insert me screaming internally)

2yrs ago I ran my first official 5K at this event, as my family made use of the facilities at Ronald McDonald House Toronto while my nephew was being treated for testicular cancer. Though my nephew has thankfully recovered, and my family no longer uses the facilities, I have continued to run and raise money each year for this much needed venue and service as I have experienced the value of it first hand. It’s my way of paying it forward and saying thank you.

I’ve also upped my goal from previous years!
I will be running 21K… 4X’s the distance of my previous efforts at this event, so I figured $2100.00 was a nice simpatico number to reach for.
$100 per KM. As each KM ticks off, I will think “that’s another $100 for RMHT!” This will be what drags my numb carcass across the finish-line approximately 3hrs after the gun sounds…
This is the only charity/fundraising I do each year, so I’m counting on you all to step up! 100% of the funds raised are allocated and used to support RMHT and the families that utilize the facilities.
100%!! Not many charities can say that.
For perspective, it costs $125 per night to house a family at RMHT, they pay $15, the rest is subsidized by the monies raised via donations.

It costs $3000 for the average family stay at RMHT. (my goal doesn’t even cover that) 3200 families will walk through the doors at Ronald McDonald House Toronto this year.

This is a big milestone for me!
Which is fitting as just weeks ago I celebrated another milestone.
A half century of life on this big blue marble! The BIG FIVE-OH!
I will never complain about reaching this age. Many of the children I am running for never will have that privilege.
THIS is my motivation.
So, I ask that in lieu of birthday gifts/cards/drinks this year, you instead pledge your support to this cause! Reaching my goal would be the bestest birthday present of all!

THANK YOU for your support!
All pledges will receive an official tax receipt (either electronic or in the mail.)

CLICK TO DONATE!! THANKS IN ADVANCE!!

Get Involved – Buy the damn Koozies!!

I can’t think of a better reason to dust the cobwebs out of the blogcave than to give a shout out to my friend, IndyCar driver Pippa Mann, who  launched a very special Indiegogo campaign today in support of eradicating Breast Cancer.

For those who don’t know, Pippa is the poster child for perseverance, positivity, and hard work; never giving up on her goals, even in the face of unfathomable obstacles and criticism. Her Instagram feed is a daily source of motivation for me. For all of those reasons, I am honoured to personally be part of the “Pippa Posse” for the Month of May.

On top of that, she works equally as hard to bring funding and awareness to a cause near and dear to most of us.

Take a look

1 in 8 folks.
1. in. 8.

I personally know at least 2. One who had radical surgery today.
This is a nasty motherfucker of a disease, an equal opportunity destroyer, and every little bit of awareness and money we can throw at it will only help to eradicate it once and for all.

So where does Pippa come in?

Well once again Pippa will be supporting Breast Cancer Awareness by driving the Susan G. Komen Liveried IndyCar in this years Indianapolis 500, and in conjunction with this she is running an Indiegogo campaign with the hopes of raising $50,000

So, it’s time for us all to put our money where our mouths are and help Pippa be successful in both her goals, to run the Indy 500 and to raise awareness and money for Susan G. Komen in the process.

From the time I started writing this, to the time I published, the donations had already doubled, with the campaign now sitting at 26% fulfilled.

Some of the hottest, more sought after items, went in the blink of an eye. Some of the bigger ticket items are still available. (this is only the first day after all) and some…
like the much maligned Koozies…
barely a whisper of interest.
There are 500 allotted to this campaign.
That’s potentially $4000 worth of donations… just sitting there.

Hey, boys, we know y’all drink beer at the track and in your backyards/living rooms… so dust off your credit cards and
BUY A DAMN KOOZIE!!
No one will judge you. Hell, maybe a lovely lady will by you a beer to fill it with as a thank you for looking out for her… girls. 😉

That said, if you don’t want one, that’s cool, you can just donate the $8 bucks.
Or bump it up to an even $10

Whatever your desired item, or donation level, remember: every little bit helps.
There are 23 days left in the campaign.
$36,907 to go.

What can you do?

Click the link and donate —–> LINK

Get Involved: here
Follow Pippa: here, here, and here

Now share the link.
Repost the Instagram.
Retweet.
Share with your friends.
Share with your friend’s friends.
Share with your enemies.

Do it for your mom, your sister, your girlfriend, your wife, your BFF.
Do it for all of your friends female significant others.
Do it for yourself…
so one day, when there is a cure, you can say, “hey, I helped fund the research for that” then take a big swig of your ice cold beer swaddled in a fab Koozie … (see what I did there?)

See y’all at Indy

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Opinions are like assholes…

Everyone has one, and they usually stink.

I’ve remained silent on the Stewart/Ward incident since it first came to light in the wee hours on Saturday night.
There were far too many questions, and not enough answers to form any reasonable opinions. I saw no reason to add to the noise.

3 days later, nothing has changed in that regard. So why speak up now?

Because I’m just so fucking irritated.

I HATE when something negative happens in the racing world. (no matter the series/genre) It becomes a call to arms for every Johnny-come-lately, couch jockey, who knows fucking NOTHING about the sport, to pontificate, and accuse, and jump on the bandwagon. Most of them with no skin in the game, so no regard for the consequences of their words and actions.

Then there are those in the know (or who claim to be) that stir the pot for their 15 minutes of internet and news cycle fame. Sensationalism at it’s worst. Click bait for hits, and links, and retweets, and ratings.

There are two people that know, without a doubt, what transpired on Saturday night. Tony Stewart and Kevin Ward. That is it. And even their versions (had Ward survived) would likely have differed in interpretation.

I don’t watch Sprint racing, so I know nothing of what it takes to manoeuvre those cars around the track. To speculate in anyway on the actions of Tony Stewart from a technical point of view would be misinformed on my part.

I’m also not going to jump on the blame the victim bandwagon. This situation is tragic enough without the undertone of “he had it coming” added to the mix.

Do I think he holds some culpability for running around on a hot track. Yes. Have we all done something stupid in the heat of the moment when we were in our 20’s? Fuck Yes.

Have we seen other drivers, in other series, attempt to do the same thing? yup. (I’m just glad that there are a handful of strong men in Orange and white fire suits that wrestle our angry drivers out of harms way in the heated moments.)

99/100 times, he would have made a foul familiar gesture that we have seen many times over in similar situations, and walked back to his car. Done. Move on to the next event.

But a multitude of circumstances beyond anyones control collided in that moment, and well, we all know the outcome. To assign blame to either is futile. It changes nothing. All we can do is reflect, learn from the situation, and move on.

Most of all, right now, It makes me incredibly angry to see a man being absolutely vilified based on a handful of “hot headed” soundbytes and moments over the course of his career, to the point of accusations of intention and cries for murder charges.

Give your fucking heads a shake.

I don’t know Tony Stewart personally. But I do know many other professional drivers on a personal level. NONE of them, not even the ones with “tough guy” reputation, would in a million years, even in their most heated moments, ever, EVER intentionally aim their vehicle at another competitor, especially one standing outside of their car. It just wouldn’t happen.

Those out there that even entertain that notion are merely playing their hand and showing the world just how truly ignorant they are, and how little they know about racing and the racing community.

These men and women willfully get into a car and risk their lives (their own lives, not their competitors). The respect they have for their machines, their colleagues, and their sport flies in the face of all of the uneducated, ignorant commentary and accusations.

Stop making a “story” out of this tragedy. It’s heartbreaking enough for all involved without turning it into a lynching or a movie of the week.

I wish for a sense of unity and protection for our racing community. Let’s not play into their storyline. Let’s stop fanning the flames. Stop commenting on and sharing the sensationalistic stories. Don’t validate the ignorance.

I wish for peace and healing for the friends and family of Kevin Ward, and the same for the friends and family of Tony Stewart.

Mostly I wish for peace and healing for Tony Stewart. I can’t imagine what he is going through right now.

The only saving grace at the moment is that there will always be another bigger story around the corner to distract this A.D.D society. Perhaps the devastating news of the loss of Robin Williams today, which broke just as I started to write this earlier, will shake some sense into this world… least for a few hours.