So… here’s what I’m thinking…

I’m thinking I should have posted something between June 24th and now, but somehow, for some reason, didn’t. Partially because some of what I’ve been discussing offline is “off the record” and “between you and I” (which is super secret off the record) and therefore not blog worthy. Well, I mean it’s worthy…. but not blog approved shall we say.

Mostly though it’s because there is just something… missing.

I’m feeling very disconnected from this sport that I love. Like the step-child, forced into a new family, who just doesn’t quite fit in. I spent so many months trying to convince everyone else to give this thing a shot, but as my spirit begins to fade, no one has taken on that role for me. So here I sit, mid season, disillusioned, disappointed, disapproving and slightly disheveled. ( that last one’s the new job taking it’s toll on me)

It’s the Thursday of race week. My race week. The week I lose sleep over every year. The week my non-gearhead friends know not to expect a return phone call. I should be beside myself, giddy with anticipation of friends and coworkers descending upon my fair city for a week of auto racing splendor. I should be grinning like a cheshire cat each time I see a commercial or hear a newscastor mention the Grand Prix of Toronto. I should be sitting at a downtown bar having a heated discussion with my racing buddies about the in’s and out’s of the series and teams and drivers.

Only my racing buddies aren’t here. The bars are ghost towns. There is nary a checkered banner or poster of a race car anywhere. The start/finish line is faded and scuffed, yet still there, taunting… a painful reminder of all that we’ve lost. Oh sure, there will be a race here next year… but it will never be same.

I’m sangry. I’m Angrad. I’m the perfect combination of angry and sad. Instead of the cosmopolitan, fast paced, action packed, world class event I’m used to, I’m instead driving into the middle of upper New York cottage country in some desperate attempt to fill the void. Now I’m sure it’s a perfectly lovely place. And a perfectly lovely track. But… *sigh*

I have such mixed feelings going into the weekend. On the one hand I’m so looking forward to catching up with my chums. *waves to my soon to be roomie from Australia!* On the other hand, I feel like I’m being lead to the firing squad. (dramatic much??) But seriously, for the first time, ever, I am “without team” or driver. My weekends consist of interviews, writing and mostly standing in PT’s pits whenever he’s on track. Well, he’s not on track… anywhere! (don’t even get me started again…) A fact that hits’ me in little waves as I prepare for my weekend. Every piece of racing gear I own is either Champ Car or Forsythe or covered in Monster logos. So this weekend, I’m going with basic black. Kind of fitting as I feel as though I’m in mourning.

I HATE THIS! I hate feeling this way! I hate the disparity. I hate the car. I hate the bullshit, media hyped “danicamania”. I hate that I really couldn’t give a shit who is in the chase for the championship because I have zero connection with anyone in the hunt. I hate the blank, despondent faces of the transitioning drivers staring at me from my television every week, because they’re mirroring mine. I hate that the fall out has all but destroyed the Atlantic series. I hate that I’m filled with so much… hate.Ā  *exhale*

Ok… that’s out of my system… figured I better purge all of that from my brain before I walk into the media centre on Friday.

I’m going to try to keep an open mind. Bear with me though as I am about to attend my first ever IRL event. Just typing that made my skin crawl a bit. See it’s one thing to sit and write about it as “media”. I detach myself from it in those cases. I’ve a job to do, and I do it. But underneath the media credential is a fan. A CART/Champ Car fan.Ā  A fan who fought for and supported and stood up for and was ultimately let down by not just a “racing series” but an ideal. A dream, a hope, a philosophy.

Believe me, I want to be excited again. I want to be giddy with anticipation. I want to get chills when the cars fire up and peel out of the pits. I want to cheer on and support a team and a driver. I want to believe that there is a real future to look forward too and not just some smoke and mirrors version of open wheel. I look forward to the day when I can look at this series and American open wheel as more than the consolation prize that was behind door number 2.

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8 responses to “So… here’s what I’m thinking…

  1. I also look forward to that day. I know we will be close to that day when I can mention “racing” to my friends and they all don’t assume that I’m talking about “NASCAR”. I can only hope that these new regs they are talking about as well as the schedule, sponsorship opportunites, and general bajillionth degree improvement in PR can come close to that ideal.

    If only my e-mail pestering of certain people had more weight…

  2. Patience, my pet. I, too, am an IndyCar fan because I have to be – that is to say I was a ChampCar fan who tried to pretend that the IRL never existed. This year has been rough, but there have been some highlights (Graham, Servia and Viso come to mind), next year should be a bit better, and by the year after that, when the new car and hopefully multiple engines are announced, I expect to feel pretty good about the IndyCar series. Robin Miller mentioned that Penske will likely go after Rahal in a few years because he’s his kind of driver. Can you imagine in 2011 having Power in a Ganassi car and Rahal in a Penske? I can, and then I would actually might root for those traitors – I mean teams again! So patience, my pet, it will get better… especially if Paul Tracy does get a ride for a few races this year šŸ™‚

  3. I am feeling blue, too, Meesh. It’s hard to care enough to watch all the races now. I agree with Speedy, though, that hopefully we’re just in a slump now. Hopefully PT gets a Vision ride (can you imagine TG saving the day???). Maybe we’ll get turbos in 2010??? Maybe we’ve still got another year before we get back to 1995…I am blue, too…

  4. It’s what I was feeling when I was told to “get over it and move on.” šŸ˜‰

    I have moved on… šŸ˜‰

  5. Ahh Padre, such a subtle “told ya so”…NOT!

    Evan,Speedy,Sciguy… All valid points, and yes, there have been some major highlights courtesy of “our” boys. The trick for all of us will be to garner enough interest in the off season to bring the lost lambs back to the slaughter in the spring.

  6. Thus the winky, Meesh. hehehehehe

    I’m still smiling and enjoying life.

  7. I think anyone looking for ideals, dreams, hope, and philosophy from modern-day auto racing is kidding themselves. No offense, of course (Meesh knows I love her), but auto racing at a level any higher than karting or bomber stocks is all business, all politics, and all-exhausting. Fans invent and create ideals and dreams and hope and philosophy where none actually exist, and it is their joy or bitter disappointment when they either parallel or contradict the reality. The fans create crusades to follow only to see them fall apart when the business they deify chooses a different direction.

    This may sound like a cynical lecture but I’ve been around racing my whole life. Auto racing is best when it entertains without the trappings of allegiances and idealism.

  8. Yaumb, I think that your cynical lecture isn’t at odds with what any of us feel. Of course high level auto racing is all about politics and business. That goes without saying. But, it is possible to have the politics and business produce a good racing product on the track. The politics and business of things haven’t looked this good in quite a while. Contrast that with the product, which is fairly boring right now due to a number of factors. I “dream and hope” that the business and politics will help to drive the IRL’s current “philosophy” of naturally aspirated cars out the door in 2010: give us back our friggin’ turbos. The problem, as I see it, is getting to that point. We don’t want ideals, dreams, hope or philosophy – we just don’t want a third of the race run under caution, and we don’t want to hear that teams have no parts to fix their broken cars. We want good racing again.

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