Monday, April 21, 2008

Congratulations Danica!

Those who know me , know I'm a total gear head and a huge motorsports fan. I've been particularly thrilled that American open wheel racing has finally buried the hatchet between ChampCar and the Indy Racing League. A quick primer, ChampCar went bankrupt and the Indy Racing League has aquirred the assets and we now have just one open wheel racing series for Indy type cars. The sport which was once the greatest racing in the USA took backseat a number of years ago to NASCAR due to infighting, huge egos, super expensive equipment and testing and loss of major sponsorships. Those of you who follow this sport, understand that my comments here are very simplistic and short. Let's just say to keep things simple, open wheel racing in the United Stats is bound to get better and will see the glory days that were long lost in the nineties...It will take awhile, but myself, and fellow race fans have a lot to look forward to!

Auto racing is the sole reason I got into photography. As a kid I used to go to the races at Watkins Glen. Formula 1, Can Am, sports cars, Formula 5000, and Trans Am races were my love. I saw photographers standing trackside shooting the sport, and thought to myself, "what a great way to make a living..." And that is all it took for me to get interested in cameras and shooting. I even photographed a few races, but discovered that lugging huge telephoto lenses around all day in 90 plus degree sun while walking miles to cover every angle of the track really WASN'T fun. The biggest thing I hated was that you actually see little of the race while you are working to shoot it. It's kind of hard to explain, but trust me, most serious spectators knew more about what was happening than the photographers covering the race.

So this weekend Danica Patrick, the IRL poster girl finally won her first IRL race in Japan and deserves a big "way to go!"
She has been under huge pressure to win since she has been in the big leagues and though she has clearly shown herself to be competitive, had yet to win and there were too many nay sayers about her abilities. I've never been a huge Danica fan, but have always felt she had talent and her competitive spirit and drive finally paid off this weekend. It's tough for ANYONE to win at this level in sport, so kudos for the first WOMAN to win in US Open wheel racing, and now hopefully the media will get off the Danica Mania kick (doubtful) and get back to covering ALL the deserving drivers and teams who work so hard to get to the top. I'm sure you'll be sick of hearing of Danica by the time the green drops at the Indy 500 in May. But despite what us hardcore fans think, the new Danica Mania Pt. 2 will be good exposure for our sport in bringing new fans, media coverage and more money into the sport we all love.

Here is here winner circle interview from Saturday at Motegi Ring: Danica Patrick wins at last.

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