Why Dan Wheldon Raced

I don’t like showing this, but it’s key to my point.

Dan Wheldon was a race car driver. It’s what he did until the day he died.

Race car drivers that I have interviewed, good ones anyway, all share a common trait or two. One is the competitive spirit. They want to win, to beat everybody else on that track. Nothing else matters and second is the first loser.

And fearlessness. I have driven a stock car at speed into the first corner at Pocono Raceway. It takes a load of nerve to do it with your foot on the floor, more than I possess. These drivers do it everyday, every corner faced like it’s an enemy to be conquered.

Open wheel racing of any sort has always seemed to me to be the scariest of all. Watching the video just reaffirms my thinking that if racers all have some sort of gene in them that turns off the fear, then the guys (and gals) that race 220 MPH with their heads sticking out of that car in the breeze must have more of it. Whatever it is.

Dale Earnhardt Sr. was quoted once, and I can’t find the exact one so I am paraphrasing.

He said

some people like to talk about racing. I don’t want to talk. I want to race.

Perhaps a fitting epitaph for Dan Wheldon.

Dan Wheldon 1978-2011

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About James Rising

A recovering radio addict wrestles with the written word.
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