Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tragic Day For Race Car Drivers

Today was a sucky day.  Well, my New Orleans Saints finally lost because they kept turning the ball over, they couldn't play defense, and the officiating sucked.  Even head coach Sean Payton got injured when Jimmy Graham fell over the sideline and fractured his coach's knee.  How often does that happen--the head coach being hospitalized in the middle of the game??  Peyton was taken away and his assistant coach (or someone, I don't know) took over play calling duties.

But no, that's just peanuts.  The Saints played three road games in a row so I wasn't terribly shocked that they lost (and were still in the game up until near the very end).

Did you watch the Indy Car race in Las Vegas?  The final race of the season.  I didn't watch anything today (not even the Saints game) because I had schoolwork to deal with.  They had "The Big One" wreck on lap 11 of 200.  There was a 15-car pile-up.  Oh God help those who were in this wreck.  EDIT: Reuploaded video.

33-year-old Dan Wheldon died in that crash as his car was launched into a fireball (watch 3:40 for an on-car view).  Now Dan isn't someone I'm very knowledgeable of (although I remember his name).  He won two Indy 500's in his career (one of those was that JR Hildebrand choke) and he was cut short so soon.  I don't even know if they finished the race although they did do three more slow laps in Dan's memory.

And I don't even want to know what happened to the other 14 drivers in that wreck.

I guess the reason I'm so shocked is that I thought we made such moves in terms of car safety that this would never be an issue.  You look at guys like Gordon Smiley and Dale Earnhardt and those were the old days.  We've moved on from that--these new cars are super safe!  They're made of titanium, the walls are padded, we got neck braces, etc.  But racing is never safe it seems.  Racing is scary--I said that over a year ago!

Then again, if you're driving in a coffin-shaped vehicle going over 220 mph (355 kph) and you get airborne and hit the wall, you're probably dead.  That's not going to change for a very long time.  A similar wreck happened to Jimmie Johnson a day before, although he was in a slower (190 mph), more durable car (more of a buffer).  Jimmie walked from the wreck okay (but shaken up).  Had he been in a smaller, faster car, he would be serious injured or worse...  EDIT: Had to reupload this too.

Do I even need to say anything about Burnout and how much that series pisses me off?  They way they glamorize the same crashes that get people killed in real life?  Yes, wrecks are a part of racing, but not to the point of seeing how many people you can crash and burn.  No, that crap doesn't deserve my time so GTFO.

God be with Dan and his friends and family.  He was doing something he loved to do so this is really sad.  RIP.  I cried a little, I swear.

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