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Splash & Go writes:
"Why We Fight"
Posted by Uptight Motorsports Nerd on November 6, 2011
Viewed 299 times


What I witnessed on October 16 can best be described as 11 laps of sheer excitement followed by an hour of "I'm going to throw up." I recall seeing yellow tarps over cars on the backstretch, usually an indication that a car is being preserved for investigation due to driver fatality. And then ESPN began its broad range of speculation while advising viewers not to speculate. It did not take long to realize this was another example of disaster porn.

I did the usual things to take my mind off the disaster {watched football, caught up on reading, etc.}, but being so familiar with the person in danger, it is much harder to get distracted. While there are drivers I like to see perform well, I still avoid picking favorites because racing is a dangerous sport. Due to this danger, drivers should always be seen as being partly expendable (for lack of a better term). I'm not saying this to dehumanize anyone, but when safety can't be guaranteed, it is best not to get attached.

Now it is time to move onto fixing what caused the tragic accident. Every armchair engineer has made his way out of the woodwork with a magic bullet solution. Some of this may be due to people being stuck in the third of the Five Stages of Grief {denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance}. I would like to think most people just want to be helpful, even if they have to venture beyond their own expertise. I could use this blog as a soap box to start naming my suggestions (if you�??ve been following me for awhile, you'll know I have no shortage of them).

Racing isn't about making or dismissing suggestions at all; it is about evaluating the merits of each one and testing it. At its core, racing itself is just a series of experiments. The cars represent technology pushed to its limit. The drivers represent the human body being pushed to its limit. This is not a spectacle or reality show with rehearsed hits and cheap editing. With every experiment, more is learned about how to build a car, how to protect the human body, and how to go faster. Dan Wheldon's (or even Marco Simoncelli's) death(s) will not be in vain. We're going to mourn them, we're going to evaluate their crashes from a logical perspective, we're going to look for things to improve on, and we're going to try again. This is how learning works. This is why we race.

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