Please Exit the Vehicle

Posted by Iannucci | 6/06/2006 | 0 comments »
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While all the vultures were picking over the remains of the late Paul Dana’s driving career, I noted that none of them had written beforehand about how hazardous a driver he allegedly was. I also pointed out that in four career IRL starts Dana had never wrecked his car.
It doesn’t take much sense to understand that at speeds exceeding 200 MPH a driving mistake can easily result in a fatality, and it doesn’t take much observation to realize ALL drivers make mistakes. The best simply make them a lot less often then the grid-fillers.

I mention this because even my six-year-old daughter can notice patterns. A pattern displays physical evidence, and there was no evidence – just Post-Mortem conjecture – that Paul Dana had no business being on the racetrack save the one incident that cost him his life.

But for vultures who would speak of unsafe drivers, a definitive pattern has emerged. Now would be a fantastic time to break out the morbid discussion of who should not be racing because Jeff Simmons, who replaced Dana in the Rahal Letterman #17 car, has now had an accident in all three of his races this year.

Three races, three accidents.

I don’t believe in superstition, but if I did I might be inclined to say the #17 has been cursed. Perhaps it has even been cursed by the irate ghost of Paul Dana himself. Then again, considering the Dana’s mishap in the car, the source of the curse might be of jilted driver Vitor Meira. Even Miera would seem to be cursed since he has been carrying the moniker of “best driver without a win” for several years. Wow, this could be deep.

But I have no such inclination towards the supernatural, so I will simply say what I have seen. Jeff Simmons wrecks every time he gets in the car. I have seen him drive on three different tracks for three different distances with one single result.

I can only speculate the reason for no “Simmons is unsafe” type of articles rests in the belief that since he got his ride the “old-fashioned way” he is somehow exempt from criticism. But facts are facts, and if someone is seriously hurt as a result of his next accident then perhaps the voices on high will look back and see the obvious trends.
It doesn’t matter how someone got into a car; it matters what they do IN the car. The good folks at Ethanol would be wise to keep RLR and Simmons on a short leash unless they want to be associated with even more carnage on the racetrack.