MEMO Memo Gidley's glad to be back in the saddle of his No. 19 Playboy/Uniden/Palms Crawford-Ford Daytona Prototype after a near two-month layoff. The multi-discipline race driver had no choice but to take some time off after a hard-hitting...
Memo Gidley's glad to be back in the saddle of his No. 19 Playboy/Uniden/Palms Crawford-Ford Daytona Prototype after a near two-month layoff.
The multi-discipline race driver had no choice but to take some time off after a hard-hitting run-in with a Long Beach Grand Prix tire wall.
Having just taken a checkered flag signaling the start of his post-qualifying cool-down lap, Gidley's car did almost everything but cool down and went straight into a tire wall at the end of the LBGP's front straight.
Launched by the recoiling tirewall, Gidley's car landed awkwardly, sending a shockwave through his seat and spine, putting Gidley in the hospital.
Living life in the fast lane, you'd expect Gidley was ready to go racing as soon as his rehabilitation began.
"There were people telling me about how I must've felt being laid up," Gidley said, "but I'm just not bothered b stuff like that."
"In my life, instead of dwelling on what was, I like to look ahead. What happened is something you can't change. The future is where your fate lies so I focus on what I need to do to make myself better -- whether personally or professionally."
Gidley took his life attitude and focused on making sure he did what the doctors wanted him to do and, in the end, he got back into the seat earlier than doctors had at first imagined.
"You just can't take bad things personally," Gidley said. "Achieving success is about moving ahead with what you've got at the time. I'm not real big on looking behind."
That must be the reason Gidley doesn't get freaked when he's in the lead -- he probably doesn't look in the review mirror to see all those other famous names behind him.
Even at 62, Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach chief executive officer Jim Michaelian enjoys taxing himself to the limit, whether professionally or during personal downtime.
The famed Champ Car World Series event run in the downtown streets of Long Beach, Calif., is massive undertaking just to get the race off the ground and then in tearing it down afterward.
It's a string of long days for Michaelian during the event week, each day arriving at the track to do daybreak news programs and leaving for home at night with the last of his staff.
Michaelian, already at work on the 2007 event, took a breather this weekend and hopped into the No. 41 Team Sahlen Porsche GT3 Cup car at Watkins Glen International for the Sahlen's Six-Hours of The Glen.
The last race in which Michaelian participated was this year's Rolex 24 At Daytona, where he and his teammates finished 41st in a 66-car field.
-- DC Williams, exclusively for Motorsport.com