Just Where Did The Time Go?

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There is one indisputable fact that I have learned as I grow older – as I age, each year of my life seems much shorter than the year before. When I was four years-old, it was an absolute eternity from that Christmas to the next one when I was five. When I was six, I attended my first Indianapolis 500 in 1965. My father took his father and brother in 1966, so when May of 1967 rolled around – it had been two years, which represented a quarter of my life at the time. Once again, it seemed like an eternity.

Unlike kids today, I counted down the months, days and even hours until I turned sixteen and got my driver’s license. From that point forward, my remaining high school years flew by. Although I stayed in college a little longer than is required before I got my degree (OK…a lot longer), that chunk of my life seemed to fly by as well.

My kids were both born in the late eighties. It seems like yesterday that they were both infants. My son turned twenty-eight this week, although I said on Facebook that he was only twenty-seven. It never dawned on me that he was now older than when I married his mother. To make things worse, my daughter will turn thirty next April. Where did all of that time go? Was it not just a year or so ago that I was turning thirty, myself? Of course, the ten years that I was married to their mother seemed like more than a lifetime – but that’s another story.

Next month I turn fifty-nine. If that doesn’t make me sound old enough, think of it this way – in thirteen months, I turn sixty. Ouch! With each passing year, time just seems to gallop more and more.

That’s also the case with this racing season. Was it not just a few weeks ago that we were all excited because the first IndyCar practice was about to get underway for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg? We were all excited that Honda, after being dominated for the past couple of seasons, won the opening race. The way they won it was even more intriguing – a Dale Coyne car driven by Sébastien Bourdais, who won from the last starting position.

Just to make us certain that Honda was back, James Hinchcliffe won at Long Beach for Sam Schmidt. Honda was winning and they were doing it with their smaller teams. By the third, fourth and fifth races of the season, normalcy was beginning to settle in. Chevy and Team Penske won all three of them with three different drivers. After five races, the only Penske driver that had not won was Helio Castroneves, and he was having the most consistent season of them all.

Without going through the entire season, which included a Honda win and pole at Indianapolis – Honda only won five more races after starting the season 2-0. Meanwhile, Chevy won nine of the next fourteen races after losing the first two to Honda. All of the Chevy wins were by Team Penske, while Honda spread their wins among the five teams of Dale Coyne Racing, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Andretti Autosport, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing. All told, every single Honda team won at least one race, while only one Chevy team won. Honda is only three points out of the championship and that’s with one of the teams with only one win – Scott Dixon and Chip Ganassi Racing – with one race to go.

Just where did the season go? Just a little more than three months ago, we witnessed the frightening crash of Sébastien Bourdais during Indianapolis 500 qualifying. At first, we were all fearing for his life. Then we all assumed he was out for the season with a broken pelvis and other injuries. Suddenly, I saw him climb into a race car with my very own eyes a couple of weekends ago at Gateway. After also witnessing his horrific crash at Indianapolis, it was if I had blinked and he had recovered. Those three months were more like three weeks. It’s scary.

At the age of forty-two, Helio Castroneves is still a young man by my standards. But next weekend will more than likely be his last IndyCar race away from IMS. I’m sure he scratches his hair product-caked head and wonders where the last twenty IndyCar seasons went. I’m sure that knowing this is his last season, the past few months since St. Petersburg absolutely flew by for him.

When I look back at Bobby Rahal teaming up with Carl Hogan to purchase the assets of Patrick Racing and winning the CART championship in his first year as an owner, that has to be what…about a decade ago? Try a quarter-century.

So if you thought this season went by quickly, I’ve got news for you. Next season will go by even quicker. So, if you’re lucky enough to still be in your mid-thirties – don’t blink. Before you know it, you’ll be in your fifties and Josef Newgarden will be considered too old to drive. What’s the silver lining in all this? The 2018 Indianapolis 500 is barely more than eight months away. It’ll be here before you know it.

George Phillips

Please Note: Susan and I have plans this weekend, which may or may not include going to the Tennessee Titans season-opener against the Oakland Raiders. Therefore, there will be no post here on Monday. I will return here next Wednesday Sep 13. I hope everyone enjoys the weekend. – GP

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6 Responses to “Just Where Did The Time Go?”

  1. Brian McKay Says:

    All I can say is that the off-seasons are so long.

  2. Let’s talk double points here.

    There are two worthy competitors vying for the championship and the championship could be decided by someone undeserving (IMHO) from way back in the field just because of double points. I’m talking about you Helio.

    This should play out the way it was meant to play out …… with the best being the victor. NOT NASCAR contrived crap!

    Sigh ……..

    • billytheskink Says:

      Just imagine if the series used the old USAC points system… Will Power would certainly like that.

      • It’s not possible that you’re older than me …………. but I don’t get it..pls explain?

        • billytheskink Says:

          The long-time USAC points system distributed different points totals based on race distance, with the winner scoring 2 points for each scheduled mile. This system would help Power by giving him 1,700-1,800 points combind for winning at Texas and Pocono while, say, Josef Newgarden would have scored a combined 700 points for winning Toronto and Mid-Ohio.

          By the way, I agree with you on the unecessity of double points, especially at Sears Point. I only really pointed this out because I like Indycar trivia.

  3. anyone older than 48 is outside the demographic which most advertisers care about. older than 34 is beyond the big money.
    you can see for yourself when there is a commercial break during
    a TV program. pharmaceutical marketing is targeting this 34-48
    age group. the motorsports i watch has 2 Cialis/Viagra spots
    per 30-minute segment. MLB and the PGA are similar.

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