Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Davey Hamilton - Postscript

This No Fenders Feature Story  was originally posted on February 19, 2008 as a companion post to Terre Haute Trio; Prior to Blogger.com deciding to irrevocably SHATTER the Original NoFenders.net (V1.0) Blogsite - Hence leaving your Humble Scribe with 1,500+ Posts potentially with BROKEN images; SHEISA! Which unfortunately this story was one of the countless and strangely when I uploaded the corresponding Davey ‘STUD Hamilton Strike-the-Pose! Pic late Friday evening (Sept 9) for reasons unknown... Blogger moved it FORWARD 3+ years & to the FRONT of the Queue; CRIKEYS!

But it’s somewhat Karmic since Messer Hamilton endured a HORRIFIC SHUNT a la ‘Zorro, aka Alex Zanardi - ten years ago himself; and hence I decided to update the story to 2011-spec’s; in two-part Harmony...

INTERVIEW: Terre Haute Trio

So, where do I begin? As this has to be one of the “Coolest Cats” (Drivers) I’ve had the pleasure of personally meeting. (Which I did during the summer of ’07...) As little did I know just how much interaction I’d have with him, as he was overly gracious with me that most memorable day in July, having flown back to Indiana to take my ride aboard the Sinden 2X single seater at the Speedway

First Danny introduced us, as Davey was nonchalantly sitting behind the check-in desk. Then we surprised him with a limited first edition No Fenders T-Shirt, of which Davey proclaimed he’d wear while at the office that afternoon. (Yeah, right!) Next we got to spend an amazing amount of time talking to him; 15-25 minutes approximately before Davey told us he needed to go get changed. And I just sat there awestruck with a silly (GOOFY!) grin across my face as everybody inside the Formula 1 garage was watching Messer Hamilton strut toward the hot pits in his driver suit, a la sleeves tied around the waist and sporting the No Fenders T-Shirt… SHEISA!

But, my 15 minutes ‘O fame wasn’t over yet, as next thing I knew I was being shepparded to the pit lane to stand in front of the Sinden land shark to pose once again with Davey while everybody else stood around listening to instructions being barked out prior to us waiting to take the E-Ticket ride of our lifetimes!

What I’d totally forgotten about Davey was the horrific crash and injuries he’d suffered at Texas Motor Speedway in 2001, as this high speed oval seems to have a nasty habit of destroying driver’s lower extremities. Recall that this is the track that was too fast for CART to tame, as they’d had to cancel the race after having fears about drivers blacking out due to the excessive G Forces they’d be enduring.

And then, there’s been the multiple blow-over’s, which have cost Kenny Brack, and Davey Hamilton life threatening injuries, as the close quarters of racing wheel to wheel on this high speed oval seems to be a recipe for carnage. (Along with Ganassi Racing’s Pablo Perez and Ryan Briscoe’s terrible accidents at Homestead and Chicagoland respectively)

On that terrible day in 2001, Davey Hamilton was trying to get around back marker Jeret Schroeder, Whose engine expired, causing Hamilton to spin in the offending slippery liquids deposited on track before cart wheeling into the infield.

Trying to extricate himself from the wreckage of his racecar, Hamilton was unaware that his feet were barely hanging on by just a few pieces of flesh and bone. After the Doctors back in Indianapolis pieced his broken feet back together with 15 pins in one and 13 pins plus a rod in the other, Hamilton would endure a total of 21 surgeries over a period of four years along with spending a year in a wheel chair on his road to recovery.

Yet, Hamilton ultimately decided that he wanted to attempt a comeback if he could put together the right opportunity for a ride in competitive Machinery, which took several years to accomplish.

Davey spent time reacclimatizing himself to the cockpit of a single seater as a chauffer for the Sinden 2X Indycar Experience program, along with doing colour commentary work on WIBC Radio as well as being a spotter for Cheever Racing.

It was thru the Indy Racing Experience that Hamilton chauffeured an executive of Hewlett Packard which would ultimately lead to the most amazing return to the Speedway in 2007 after a six year absence, as Hamilton would make up one fourth of Tony George’s Vision Racing armada. And while Hamilton may not have been the quickest gun in George’s stable, Hamilton led the Vision Racing brigade home with a top finish of ninth place…

While chit-chatting with Davey on that wonderful day in July, I was reminded that he’s a Boise, Idaho native who’d cut his racing teeth in Sprint Cars as he reeled off about 8-9 short tracks in the Pacific Northwest that I’d never heard of. And while listening to the Terre Haute Trio interview, I learned that Davey along with his father have been managing Meridian Speedway for the past 20 years, along with having a son who’s now competing in racing. (JD Hamilton)

Thus, while I believe that Davey would like another shot at the upcoming year’s (2008) Indy 500, it seems unlikely as I’ve read that he’ll be back in the booth as the Indycar Radio Network’s colour commentator instead. Also, Tony George seems to be close to shutting down his team in order to free up chassis for the impending arrival of Champ Car teams, having given Tomas Scheckter and AJ Foyt IV their walking papers.

Hopefully Davey will continue chauffeuring those of us privileged enough to ride behind him at 180mph! While it sounds like he’s planning for his future as a race track promoter, whenever he decides its time to step away from the cockpit, along with watching his son try to become a professional racecar driver. At least his daughter doesn’t seem to have been bitten by the racing bug to date.

Thanks Davey and Good Luck!