Don't hate racers....for racing

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Racers are going to race, and haters are going to hate.

I would love to be a race car driver.

Anyone, especially anyone frequenting this website, has dreamed of getting in a high-powered race car and jamming the throttle to the floor in an attempt to beat their competitors.

Tony Stewart looks on
Tony Stewart looks on

Photo by: Getty Images

With the recent accident that sidelined Tony Stewart, many people questioned the his extra-curricular activities, along with all the other drivers nationwide, and worldwide who go beyond their contracted big-money gigs.

On August 5, Tony Stewart wrecked while leading a sprint car race in Oskaloosa, Iowa. The accident broke the two major bones in his right leg which required surgery and took him out of his Sprint Cup car for the remainder of the season.

Racing is dangerous….have you heard?

This isn’t the first time a driver has been hurt outside of their usual discipline. Actually a couple come to mind right off the top.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s wrecked Corvette
Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s wrecked Corvette

Photo by: Bob Heathcote

Dale Earnhardt Jr. found himself sitting in a burning Corvette in 2004 at Infinion during morning warmup ahead of an American Le Mans Series event. He was transported to hospital with burns to his neck and legs.

While “Junior” did not miss any events, he did have to undergo minor skin grafting surgery. The evidence can still be seen today on his neck if you look close enough.

Even the stars of the world’s most popular racing series, Formula One have had incidents that have sidelined drivers, and nearly killed some.

In the modern era, Robert Kubica, who was a rising Formula One star at the time and Michael Schumacher had accidents outside of their normal cockpits.

Robert Kubica
Robert Kubica

Photo by: XPB Images

In 2009, shortly after his retirement Schumacher suffered a lowside on a race motorcycle while testing the 1000 cc beast. He was treated for a concussion, but was otherwise unscathed.

Kubica on the otherhand did not fair as well in his extra curricular accident. While driving a Super 2000 spec rally car in Italy in 2011, he hit a guard rail which penetrated the car and broke his right elbow, shoulder and leg, and partially amputated his arm. Seven hours of surgery was required to put the Polish driver back together, along months of physiotherapy. Kubica has yet to return to Formula One, but currently runs in the World Rally Championship.

Around the same time as Stewart’s accident, current IndyCar points leader Helio Castroneves was injured in a Brazilian stock car event, where a brake failure sent him hard into the wall. He suffered cuts on his legs and soreness in his back but otherwise was alright after the incident.

Now, why am I listing all these accidents?

Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet
Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: John Cote

People’s comments surrounding whether or not drivers should be racing in their spare time in other countries and other vehicles is driving me bonkers.

Some team owners specify that drivers are not to participate in other racing during the season, or during a contract, and this fact is even worse than fans complaining that Stewart was wrong for running his sprint car during the week.

Racers are going to race. Period. This is no different than your employer at your day job telling you that you are not allowed to go ice-skating on the weekends because it’s dangerous.

Ryan Newman
Ryan Newman

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt - Getty Images

Look at a guy like Ryan Newman. This past weekend he ran more than one race in Loudon. He jumped in his modified and dueled with the best in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, just for fun.

I have gained a ton of respect for a guy like Kurt Busch, who brought a one car team into the Chase, but in the mean time did some testing at “The Speedway,” with the intention of running an Indy 500, and possibly the season ender IndyCar event in California next month.

Racing is in these drivers blood, they would not be where they are today without it. Every single one of them know the potential consequences of jumping on a bike, slipping through the window of a stock car, or strapping into the cockpit of a race car.

Kurt Busch prepares to test an Andretti Autosport IndyCar
Kurt Busch prepares to test an Andretti Autosport IndyCar

Photo by: IndyCar Series

Like I said above, I would love to be a race car driver. Having the talent, financial well being to drive almost anything I want, anywhere I want would be an absolute dream. Each person complaining that Stewart shouldn’t be running his sprint car are complete hypocrites, because if they had the ability to race anything…they would.

Now, in the meantime, I will be racing every car on every track under the sun...on iRacing.

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About this article
Series NASCAR , ALMS , F1 , INDYCAR , WOO , WRC
Article type Commentary
Tags 2010, brazil, broken, canada, castroneves, crash, dale, danica, earnhardt, fire, indycar, injury, kubica, schumacher, stewart, surgery, tony, video