I took a moment and reflected on myself and racing fans the day of Dario Franchiti’s horrific accident. It came to me how similar this incident was to NASCAR’s horrific accident in the Nationwide Series in Daytona when we all held our breath and prayed for the fans that were hurt. Thankfully Kyle Larson was not injured. When I went on twitter, I was amazed at the tweets with prayers and how NASCAR fans found that common ground and became one united family, tweeting #NascarStrong and more. No one cared who your favorite driver was, we were all going to unite and support each other, we were a family.
Then I looked at how we did the same thing the day Dario was in the accident even though it wasn’t a NASCAR event we became one again. Our prayers were of healing, our thoughts of the family and fans that were injured and how it was like Daytona all over again and then it hit me where did all that go? Why did it take such a horrific crash to bring us back together? How did we go from Daytona to caring so much about each other to just literally being full of hate because of some fans favorite drivers?
I have seen fans bullied because they like Kyle Busch or Jimmie Johnson and I don’t understand why the hate? What gives us the audacity to hate those drivers that put their lives on the line for the glory,some for the money perhaps, some for the love of the racing, and mostly for us the fans. Some of these drivers paid the ultimate price like Dale Earnhardt Sr., Neil Bonnett, and Dan Wheldon. Some drivers paid indirectly like Dick Trickle, Davey Allison and Alan Kulwicki, yet here we are wishing drivers to crash? What type of fan wishes any driver harm? Why? I have my driver and I have those I do not care for, but to wish them to crash? I have seen some saying Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart got what they deserved?
My point is after Daytona I was proud to be a racing fan. I was proud that we were united and the hate was gone. I was proud of the sport and who I was as a fan then I realized I wasn’t proud anymore not even of myself, I too got caught up in the tornado of what fans can be and you know what? I didn’t like what I saw until Franchiti’s crash. That reminded me of the fan I want to be. I want to be proud again. What kind of fan do you want to be? I know I hope not to get lost in that tornado again.
These are just my feelings, like them or not, agree with them or not, read it or not, it doesn’t change the truth. Look in the mirror when you are saying hateful things about drivers that did nothing to you personally, ask yourself is this the kind of fan you want to be?