The last hurrah…

The in-flight thoughts of a tired (literally and figuratively) Champ Car fan heading to the final race.

Depending on who you talk to this weekends race will bring to an end 29 yrs (the CART days) 12 yrs (marking the split) or 4 yrs (the post bankruptcy “Champ Car” years) of racing “history” in Long Beach.
Is this the end of the race itself? No, in fact the event itself has been recently extended through 2013, most likely to remain on the IndyCar schedule. (although the F1 rumours have already started…)
The end of the car? Yes… for now. Again, there are many theories floating about that the DP01 could make a resurgence in a couple of years, once it is properly outfitted and tested for use on ovals as well as the street/road disciplines.
The end of a philosophy perhaps? Well, now we’re getting somewhere.

Alas all good things must come to an end. Why is that? Why not the bad things?
I guess in a way the bad things are ending too and maybe that’s a blessing in disguise. One of the things that I learned once I became more ensconced in the “inner sanctum” of the racing biz in recent years is that there are a lot of bad things. And bad situations, and some inherently bad people. Fortunately for most this is a deep dark secret. They show up to the track, or tune into the weekly races and enjoy the product, blissfully unaware of the bullshit, conflict and pettiness that is prevalent on every level from the very top of the food chain (the executives) to the very bottom (the fanbase).

Unfortunately for me, I had the curtain pulled back on my beloved sport, and saw “the wizard”. While it didn’t effect my enjoyment of the on-track product, cause really, in the end, it’s all about the racing, it did make me a little more… realistic in my expectations of the overall product.

In some ways it made me demand more. I deserved more. We all deserved more.
We put our faith in the “promise” only to be lead in the opposite direction. Then when a few of us questioned it, we were labeled ungrateful… un-fan-worthy.
In other ways, it caused me to *shrug* and say “well, what do you expect???” and just be grateful for whatever time we had left. My “love” had inoperable, terminal cancer. I just wanted to enjoy every last minute, and make as many beautiful memories possible.

I guess in a way that is what this weekend is about for me. The doctors have called, the end is near, the treatments have stopped. Time to gather, tell him you love him, and say goodbye. I’m going to take as many pictures as my camera will hold. I’m going to fill my mind and my heart with as many “moments” as humanly possible. Mostly I’m going to try to not get caught up in the anger. It’s such a wasted emotion, especially at this juncture and it certainly isn’t going to magically the “cure” the series.

Over the course of the weekend I’m going to play the roles of reporter, journalist, blogger ;), fan, friend, colleague, traveler, explorer… Most importantly I’m going to be standing next to the #3 when he peels out of the pits for the first time on Friday morning, a race weekend tradition, and inhale deeply becoming giddy with the heady mix of adrenaline and methanol.

I will laugh, a lot.
I will drink, a little. (who am I kidding)
and throughout the weekend I will cry… probably a lot.
I will be in the moment and try to control the universe just a little to make the next 3 days last just slightly longer than anywhere else in the cosmos.

and with that I await flight #2 (hopefully this one won’t be as nausea inducing as the last one… :vomit:

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3 responses to “The last hurrah…

  1. Enjoy it, Meeshbeer! I am so totally jealous of you. I wish I could be there to inhale deeply. Nothing like rubber mixed with spent methanol (except maybe rubber mixed with spent nitromethane…but I digress).

    A few quick comments: 1) any racing organization contains a number of shitheads. I raced quarter midgets for quite a while, and there were plenty of dads that threw punches at other dads (way to parent!). Sadly, that’s just how it is. 2) I don’t think there’s any way in hell that F1 comes back. It is way too narrow for those cars, and the fancy lads just won’t have it. I know it worked back in the day, and I know Monaco exists. But, there is a difference between the history/beauty/wealth/glamour of Monaco and Long Beach.

  2. Have a great time. I’m jealous as well.

    I really, REALLY will be rooting for PT like never before. I need to see him racing again.

  3. The pictures LB on OWW.net look awesome. What a great circuit and event. I wish I could be there.

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