Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Day I've Waited Forever For

I announced this on my Facebook page yesterday and I don't think I've ever been more excited about anything in my life than I am for what is to take place on Monday.

This event has been a year in the making and started with this video blog from last year

After I finished making the video I was told, "Keep in touch, we may just want to have you be an honorary starter for a day of practice next year." And guess what... They did!

On Monday, May 13th I will be the honorary starter for the third day of practice for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Being the honorary starter may not seem like much. In fact, I won't even be in the flag stand (I will however be on a platform on the pit wall very much like Pat Vidan use to have) and I have just one flag to waive and that is the green. I waive flags all the time and I can't even guess how many times I waive the green, yellow, white, and checkereds on a typical USAC .25 or SKUSA weekend. This isn't a typical weekend though. I get the chance to waive a flag at racing's most hallowed grounds.

A book I used to read and reread written by the late Tom Carnegie when I was younger, Indy 500: More Than a Race had many pictures of both Pat Vidan and Duane Sweeney who was the chief starter of The 500 who gave me the checkered flag in the video. I spent many, and I do mean many, days and nights dreaming of the day I could be at the track, in the month of May, with a flag in hand. For some people that get the chance to be an honorary starter I'm sure it's a rush; and why wouldn't it be? To be track level with the flag that starts the day is nothing short of amazing. For myself, though, this is going to be a moment that will be a lifelong dream fulfilled. It will be a singular moment that will never be forgotten and may never be duplicated. I have no idea what to expect when something has been long been dreamt about comes true. That's what this is for me. This isn't just one flag, this is playing a very minor part in what I consider to be one of the world's greatest sporting events. This is something that, even at the age of four when my dad bought me a novelty checkered flag on a day of practice I thought of. Oh, I did a number on that flag as each car passed at over 200mph and I loved thinking that maybe someday I would be the one with the flags that matter. Come Monday, for one green flag in the morning, I will be.


  1. Everyone probably has their own moments in life that they either strive to achieve or, for a lucky few, have achieved. The common thread for these is probably the fact that what's important for one may seem insignificant for another. This doesn't diminish the importance of the occassion for each individual. As with people on the Autism spectrum, we are all different, with different goals in life, different matters of importance and different likes and dislikes. And thank goodness for that. How boring would life be if we all were the same? As the French so aptly put it, "viva la difference!"

  2. Awesome. It is an amazing thing to realize your dream and your Kansas.

  3. Congratulations for your accomplishments. It is a dream come true. Have fun!

  4. Awesome. It is an amazing thing to realize your dream and your Kansas.