I would like to take a moment to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving! I hope that everyone is getting their fill of turkey and pumpkin pie.
We have so many things to be thankful for as race fans. I wanted to take a moment to discuss a few of mine here. Please leave a comment below with yours. Enjoy!
First time winners: Everyone loves a first time winner and nothing is sweeter for the drivers. NASCAR had 5 first time winners and all these wins took place at esteemed races. Trevor Bayne (Daytona 500), Regan Smith (Darlington), David Ragan (Daytona), Marcos Ambrose (Watkins Glen) and Paul Menard (The Brickyard) all etched their names into some pretty stellar history books. On the Indy side, Mike Conway (Long Beach) and Ed Carpenter (Kentucky) also had their first wins. Ed Carpenter’s was extra sweet because it was the first win for team owner Sarah Fisher as well.
Kurt and Kyle Busch: But, Erin, how can you say that you are thankful for the Busch brothers. As a writer, I love people that bring me material each and every week. These two are the poster children for sibling rivalry both on and off the track. It seems like they are always trying to steal the spotlight off one another even if it takes negative attention to do so. Kyle gets put on probation one week and Kurt goes off on his team the next. Kurt gets arrested for a reckless driving (not a DUI, though it was smelled on him) and Kyle was cited for reckless driving going 128MPH in a 45. Kyle gets suspended for a race weekend and Kurt gets caught on tape going off on Dr. Jerry Punch. Thanks, boys.
Will Power’s Wanker and Angry Birds: I’ve met Will Power briefly in the autograph line at the Penske trailer. I feel badly that I really didn’t know anything about him, or even what to say besides “Good Luck today.” (This was probably because I was already a total derp because Helio was next.) Anyway, I used to think that Will Power did not have a personality. This season made me realize that I was totally wrong. From his fabulous sound bite of calling Alex Tagliani a wanker and his double birds to the camera, I realized that Will Power is probably the life of a very angry party. I love it. This sport has too much vanilla.
Safety Measures: Even with the tragic losses that the racing world has suffered this season, I am thankful for the research and rulings regarding safety. I have seen some of the worst wrecks this season. I know without the constant attention to making things safer for our drivers, there would have been more losses.
No 6-Time: I’m really not a complete Jimmie Johnson hater. But, one more consecutive year of him winning the championship would have been detrimental to the sport. People will stop watching if they know the final result. A Tony Stewart championship was just what we all needed to know that someone still has a chance! And it was pretty entertaining to witness Morgann losing her head.
Only 95 days left: I am thankful for racing having the longest season of any sport. This means that we don’t have 6 months of filler if our team doesn’t make it to the playoffs.
Hockey: What?!? How can you be thankful for hockey on a racing website? Easy. Blackhawks hockey fills the gap for excitement until racing starts again.
No Double Duty for Danica: I am thankful that Danica has finally made her decision to stick with NASCAR full time. This means that I am (hopefully) going to have at least one race a weekend that doesn’t constantly mention her midpack suckiness. IndyCar, you might have just become my favorite again.
3 Wins: As a Jeff Gordon fan, there was a time when I was really worried it was time for him to hang it up. He came out strong this season and got 3 wins including his 85th! That win put him as third on the all-time win list behind Richard Petty and David Pearson. I saw some aggressive driving from him that I haven’t seen in quite a while. I know now that his 5th championship is a possibility.
Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan: Thank you, Brazil. These two drivers have personality for days, and I love that we get to know them through IndyCar.
Twitter: Where else do you get to really know your drivers? I have “met” a fantastic bunch of people and fellow race fans through Twitter. This time last year I really didn’t understand its purpose. Now, I hate to watch a race without it. Thank you to all of my Tweeple, and I truly wish you all the best this holiday season.
A rookie Turn 4 mistake: I know that JR Hildebrand would disagree with me, but his overdriving of turn four on the last lap in the Indy 500 was one of the best moments of the year. We were devastated along with him for coming oh-so-close to living the dream. But, now we know why this happened. It was all part of a greater plan. JR Hildebrand’s rookie mistake allowed Dan Wheldon to take the checkers for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. Dan Wheldon- forever a champion.
Aerys Sports: I cannot say thank you enough for this network of fantastic sportswomen (and men). Julie DiCaro has created this amazing place where we have a chance to voice our knowledge, opinions, and love for our chosen sports. Race fans, have you checked out the rest of the site? You need to!
Morgann Spicer: I cannot put my “I’m thankful for” list together and not include my partner in crime, sister from another mister, and newfound bestie. We’ve laughed and cried together this season, and this site wouldn’t be where it is without her. She’s held it together when I wasn’t able to help and I cannot thank her enough. I look forward to many more seasons of debating and writing with Morgann!
Thank you to all who stop by and read our craziness! I know I speak for Morgann as well when I say that we appreciate each and every one of you! All the best from us to you in this holiday season!