|Dario Franchitti wins his 3rd Indy 500 & a kiss from Target mascot Bullseye Image/Musgrave|
After the devastating blow to the racing world's family and fans alike with the death of the immensely popular Dan Wheldon, there seemed to be a bit of a cloud over this year's race. Who would be the first to receive the honored Borg-Warner Trophy after Wheldon's amazing last minute win in 2011?
As a friend of Wheldon, Franchitti's win made the hollow feeling a little less hollow, the black cloud a little less dark. As if it were the only path that would provide the healing needed for the tragedy's insiders and onlookers.
I understood the immensely tight group of the racing world a little more this year. With last year being my first ever time to attend the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing," I was just lucky to remember where to park, when to cover my ears and how to find the conference room. This time I was able to navigate the media room better, had learned to arrive at the press conference before it was announced and spent more time actually watching the race. More time was spent watching and understanding the interpersonal relationships between owners and their drivers, fans and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway staff, and the media with each other which gave better insight to the loyalty, respect and caring that goes on behind the scenes and runs like a river of life cleansing the old pain, washing away the anger and moving everyone forward in their lives.
I hope to be fortunate enough to attend in 2013. Before that happens I have vowed to research more of the history, facts and figures of the Speedway, drivers and the race itself. Covering many fields of interest with Gotta Go, it isn't possible to be an expert in every area. This has been a journey of learning for me, and hopefully for you also, as I have been willing to look the fool by asking the questions no one wants to out of fear of looking foolish. In return for being allowed to travel to wonderful places, meet marvelous people and try wondrous new experiences, I am willing and then report back my findings to you.
However, I have been remiss, I believe, when it comes to my hometown's pride and joy -- The Indianapolis 500. Perhaps because I grew up listening to it on the radio, or because I always felt I could "get around to it" I never truly paid attention to it all that much. Embarrassing, but true.More time was spent learning about other places, other events, other people, instead of what was in my own backyard.
I make a vow to myself, to you and to the race today. To research and learn so that I might teach others who are too shy to admit they also know too little about it. It is far too easy to overlook that which is directly in front of us while looking at something farther away. I apologize from my heart for taking far too long to understand what I did today.
Bottom Line: I have found a deep respect for what the Indianapolis 500 means as financial support through many jobs, as a lifelong passion of fans worldwide and pride in the history and heritage of what truly is "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Gotta Go is published on www.BroadwayWorld.com and in M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.