Opinion

Everything Bremerton: A sad time for racing

The world of motorsports died a little this week with the loss of two-time Indy 500 winner Dan Weldon on lap 12 of the last Indy car race of the season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

As a motorsports enthusiast I follow all types of racing from time to time throughout the entire year whether it is NASCAR, Formula 1, drag racing, rally and open wheel that includes the Indy Racing League. I have participated myself at the grassroots level competing in Autocross for six years as well as in the occasional open track road course lapping day.

Man has been racing one another since the invention of the wheel. From the original and actual four horse powered chariots of Rome to the 675 horses powering the average Indy racing car of today. Man and now woman will continue to dream up ways in which they can use speed to pit themselves against each other in ongoing constant battles of daring, skill, courage and endurance.

There will be questions this week about the sport of racing because of this loss. Questions about the track, questions about the race management and questions about the series’ safety as a whole.  For NASCAR, it took the loss of Adam Petty on May 12, 2000, Kenny Irwin on July 7, 2000 and the beloved Dale Earnhardt on Feb. 18, 2001 for the series to not only make significant changes and improvements to the cars and to internal cockpit safety, but to the way in which the sport management approaches and makes decisions within the business of racing.

Within every sport there is risk. Racing has a few more risks than some and a few less than others. As a fan, I will continue to enjoy my sport. I will always respect the risk. I will honor those who have perished doing what they so love and I will cheer those who live to race another day.

Jason and I are season ticket holders to the NASCAR Sprint Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. We have been for about eight years now. We don’t attend the race every year and when we don’t go we share our unused tickets with our friends. This coming March 2012 we will be in attendance at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the NASCAR race. While we continue to embrace and enjoy all that motorsports has to offer, we will take the time to think of and reflect on Dan Weldon while we are there at the track and the impact and legacy he has left behind in the world of racing. For a passionate life cut too short way too soon.

For a local connection to racing in the Bremerton area be sure to check out the Bremerton Motorsports Park website at http://bremertonmotorsportspark.com/blog. They have information about the lease that was just signed in September with the Port of Bremerton for the development of a motorsports facility to replace the existing property that they are no longer able to use.  Sign up in support of the project and keep checking back with them for more information and updates as the project progresses.

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