Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sad day for motorsports

I was all set to chronicle our adventures in apple picking in 35 mph winds and marathon applesauce making session tonight, but my heart and mind aren't in it. 

Like many Sundays, we filled it watching sports - football, baseball, and of course, racing. 

I was happy to hear that 2011 Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon was racing today at Las Vegas and I was pulling for him. He didn't have a full-time ride this year, and I think it was a shame. The only benefit from an idle season was that he hopped into the broadcast booth and showed his enthusiasm and his personality for Versus. 

The sport is inherently dangerous, and the perfect storm happened today: too many cars riding too close going too fast. One mistake led to 15 cars being collected in a mess of twisted metal, fire and billowing smoke. 

Hubby and I sat on the couch transfixed. It was hard to pick out which car was Wheldon's until it had already been covered with a yellow sheet, which broadcasters blamed on trying to keep the pieces together. It also made it harder to see that the car was flat; the part of the car normally behind the driver's head was gone.

As time ticked away on the red flag, I had a sinking feeling that word from the hospital would not be good. If he had been OK, it would have been a priority to get word back to everyone at the track.

Instead, the word was not good. 

As a mother and someone who has lost a loved one, I think I feel things differently now. I hugged my children extra tight tonight, knowing that Wheldon leaves behind two little boys who will never get another good night hug from their daddy.


Rest in peace, Dan. 

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