Strange things happen............

Jimmy W1

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Most of you probably remember......three years ago today, the tragic accident in Las Vegas took Dan Wheldon's life from us. I was watching the race in disbelief when it happened.

Odd thing..... I have been watching the Indy 500 races on TV most of my life. My buddies and I would watch AJ throw his fits in the pits when he would tell the mechanics to get the he** out of his way while he threw stuff and worked on his own car to get it back out on the track. We got a kick out of that. Salt Walther, from Dayton just north of here caused the big wreck one year.
I remember seeing Jimmy Clark win in 1965, the year I graduated from high school. I don't believe the Lord gave the racing world anyone better. Some will argue that, I guess. But you could tell he was a true gentleman. No one will argue that. I watched Mario on TV win his only 500 and I continued to watch the race just about every year. Several landmarks through the years. The four time winners. Danica coming along was special. Marco just missing his winning the race at 19 years of age was heartbreaking.

So, in 2011 I got two tickets to the Indy 500 and my son and I went. We had been to the time trials a few times over the years, but this was the first race that I had actually attended. We had a great time. Our seats are straight up from the entrance to the pits on turn four, so JR hit the wall right in front of us and Dan zipped right around him. What a finish!! I've kept the same seats every year. But that one was really special.

Being only a few hours from me, I went to the race in Kentucky that fall. Not many fans attended. I guess that's why it was the last year there. For the first time I went through the lines and got autographs. Danica's. Marco's. What a blast!! Dan Wheldon couldn't get out to sign autographs because he was doing something with the car. I was rather disappointed. I watched him all during the race. And I had enjoyed watching him announce some of the races that summer because he didn't have a ride. He seemed like a great kid. Then he was gone. So I will be thinking of him all day because of how special he was.

But October 16th is a special day in another way. It is my son's birthday. He is 35 years old today. I get to have lunch with him and have a great day together. Nothing will dampen that. But it is just a little strange.
 
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PushRodV8

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I didn't start watching Indycar until the end of 2012. I didn't know much about Dan but he seemed like a very cool guy and a talented driver. I wish I could have watched him race. Thanks for sharing your story.

As we all know, it's a shame we have to lose someone within the sport of racing to make it safer.
 
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