Sometimes when you are inside the world of racing, it's hard to enjoy the racing as a spectator. Derek and I have developed such a program and a routine for how we do racing. It's more like a job sometimes, a fun job, but a job none the less. We have cut down on attending races as spectators since Derek would much rather be driving any day. It's a race car driver thing! But, with the unfortunate incident Derek had in Virginia, we lost our opportunity to compete in the next round of the Pirelli World Challenge in Connecticut this weekend. Derek and I decided to take a weekend together. It was Maui or the Indy 500. A choice between total relaxation or inspiration. Indy won! I have been finding myself wanting to film everything and having a hard time relaxing and putting the camera down. Derek and I made a plan for tonite, that this is our fun night. I have agreed to put the camera down and we are headed to the Snake Pit Ball! We have however, also enjoyed some really fun insider privileges with one of Derek's sports car co-drivers, James Davison driving this weekend. Moments like these are definitely worth having the camera on.
James Davison is one of the most focused and fast drivers I've seen up close. He's driving the #33 Jonathan Byrd's and A.J. Foyt Racing machine this week at the Indy 500. James amazingly squeaked in past Pippa Mann and James Hinchcliffe at the very end of bump day, narrowly qualifying into the field of 33 cars. The day prior he had an accident in a practice session, hitting the wall, ending up bruised and a bit shaken. It's no surpised that he came out swinging on bump day, on his twitter account he is a self proclaimed "racer and fighter". He really did fight for that with incredible determination and focus and of course, a great team behind him. The story is shaping up to be very aligned with ours. He is with a team that doesn't have the huge budget like Penske or Chip Ganassi, but they've got a lot of heart and a will to win. We are here to film the story and share the connection. After all, I've always cheered for the underdogs and I've got a good feeling about this one! And the camera will have to roll to capture the story. So much for turning it off!
This is a race that Derek dreamed of driving as a kid. One of his favorite drivers to watch was Arie Luyendyk "The Flying Dutchman". I don't know if it's because he is Dutch too or that he is a two time winner of the Indy 500 that Derek loved to watch him or maybe that he has been known to fly. Most likely all of those! Upon first arriving at our hotel, we coincidentally and accidentally, jumped into the wrong elevator with none other than Ari Luyendyk and his wife. We didn't bother them but I could tell that Derek was a little star struck-a brush with racing greatness.
Derek and I have had quite an adventure in racing over the years with first being fans and young students of the sport and now having a show that shares our story about how we live within the racing world. Looking back on the first time we attended the Indy 500, it's interesting to see how we've grown. We didn't know anyone and even then we made friends and connections the very first time we were here like we belonged. Today we are with a team and driver whom we know personally and Derek has raced with. Fastlife.tv is on an Indy car! We even have had a few people recognize us from our show and compliment it. When I interviewed James in the garage yesterday he said the same thing. It's surreal at times. This is what he had always dreamed about doing and now he's here and he's not just here, he's really doing well and has a chance to win the Indy 500 this week. Either way, Derek and I are proud to be part of his team and to cheer on a friend living his dream. That's what it's all about!
**Thank you to all of our sponsors and partners. A special thanks to Figs Eyewear for our sunglasses for the weekend! We hope you check them out! They are made in Oregon and very unique!