Racers are a different breed, not many died in their sleep, more now than before.
I know by word of the grapevine what kind of person Justin Wilson was.
That grapevine carried much more reality than the media.
Sad but I recall a far deadlier time in open wheel racing, extracting a toll of a few good drivers every season, not one every 4 or 5 seasons.
Art Pollard was a great fellow working with the injured children, he did enjoy going really fast.
There are many others caught out by chance, the blow cannot be lessened to those that knew the people taken early.
A tribute to Gary, Merle, Tony and Tony Jr. Bettenhausen.
Its a fine fellow and fellows passed.
My favorite 500 was '72. Gary B was the class of the field by a bunch. After the elder Unser brother's All-American-Racers Eagle broke only Gary's Penske sponsored McLaren was as fast.
Fortune stole the race that was a runaway from Gary and I heard the whole front stretch crowd moan as one.
More than a lap in front up to that moment.
An Indiana hometown guy (imported from Tinley Park Ill.) missed his best chance.
Soon a sprint car rendered his left arm useless but it didn't hinder Gary's driving except in the corporate eyes of Roger Penski the "person" and the corporation of bullshit.
Roger the jerk asswipe fired Gary for getting hurt.
Like Tom Sneva he wasn't "winning enough".
After Sneva finished 2nd at Indy twice and won the driving championship in Penski colors.
Penski sent him looking for a ride?! Stupid corporate ethics are NO ETHICS AT ALL.
Justice for Tom Sneva came in '83 when he and George Bignotti whupped Penski/Mears et. al.
Many wished Gary or Tony Jr. could find the luck to win a 500 but it never came to the Bettenhausen Family.
My mind was already made up about the jerk Roger the bloodsucker of Indy Racing a vampire draining the husk even now of what was.
It irks me when I hear the media lackeys refer to Penski as the Captain....
When I think of a certain USMC skipper that once was my Captain O-3 retired as a full bird gyrene a few years back.
I remember that day when myself and many others were positive "Gary B is gonna win the 500!!!"
It was not Penski that made Indy.
Indy made The Punk, ask AJ Foyt.
Today we can't ask AJ Watson but he too knew what Indy means.
Some know, some never will.
Here's a hint: Tony Hulman and Wilbur Shaw made Indy what it is, not Penski and Ganassi and $$$$.
Some recall the "Ford Motel" and like hardships undertaken to be able to race on Memorial Day at Indy.
The same ones that knew the "risk" and went for it to the max -
then and now!