I began this post Sunday night. I never finished it and while I plan to use parts of it in the piece I write today I didn’t want to delete this one nor keep in hidden away as unpublished. So here it is just as I left it Sunday night. I am very grateful to my IndyCar friends who understand how hard these last few days have been.
IndyCar is the only sport I follow so perhaps it is not unique to our sport but it sure seems to me that the true fans of IndyCar have a bond with each other and drivers that surpasses other sports relationships. I can’t tell you how many twitter friends have been helpful either at the track or just giving advice on Twitter. The drivers are amazing too. They always go above and beyond to take time and talk with the fans. Our very first experience with the way drivers exceed expectations has to do with Justin Wilson.
Justin became my son Matthew’s favorite driver as soon as he saw him in the McDonalds car. Like any kid, Matthew loved McDonalds. We were at time trials for the Indy 500 in 2012 and were going to attend the kids club event. I tweeted Justin, James Hinchcliffe and Tony Kanaan saying we would love to see them at the event. Justin tweeted back asking when and where. He then showed up and signed autographs. My boys and I were first in line. Mostly because I was watching for him and he tweeted me that he was there. They weren’t expecting him at the event and while they got things set for him to sign autographs I had a minute to say hi before gathering my boys for autographs and pictures.
That was such a fun day. Knowing Justin was there just because we tweeted was very cool. While I saw Justin a couple more times at races Matthew did not meet him again until this summer. We were at the Milwaukee race and must have passed his transporter a million times hoping to catch him. After the race, Zach and I did the track Invasion but Matthew searched for Justin. Then I received a text that Matthew met him and he sent a selfie. It’s one of my favorite pictures.
Matthew was so happy to have found Justin. I loved seeing him so excited about it. Zach and I eventually made it over and we got a picture too. Then I had the shirt Justin signed for Matthew in 2012- the ink just barely visible and Justin signed it again just above the old one.
So know here we are, we just received word that Justin is in a coma and in critical condition. I’m sick to my stomach and heartbroken over this news while trying to remain optimistic. It is so frustrating because I can’t help. Well that is not true- I can pray and that is huge. God can do all things. I truly believe that and have been and will continue to pray. What I meant though was that Justin (and all IndyCar ) feels like a good friend to me. I want to do more to help. I want to send flowers, make meals, watch the girls, let the dog out (do they have a dog?) or just help with whatever needs to be done. I hate that I can’t do more.