I once had a life goal to piss off as many people as possible before I died. I was good at it. Real good. I got on Twitter and Facebook for the purpose of being a wining pain in the ass. The only problem is I quickly figured out some people actually had it worse than me. The blog went nowhere Facebook friends forgot about me, and then something scary happened. The tsunami in Japan. I was in California so I got to watch it live on TV. I truly see that as when I decided to stop sounding like a drunk sailor with Tourette’s when I played on the Xbox, and that’s when I decided to start using Twitter to be kind rather than to be a dick.
When I was a kid fan mail took 6 months to process and reply to. Now if you’re witty or kind enough it can come in 6 seconds. I’m interested in anything that goes fast; and I believe the coolest athletes are those men and women brave and talented enough to tame these beasts.
I’ve been a fan of Robby Gordon’s take no prisoner, balls out style since he first arrived at Indy. How many people do you know who will take a car out on the grid jump out while it’s still rolling with their ass on fire, roll about in the grass in front of 250k fans, get back in the car and drive it over 220 mph. I know just one; and that’s Robby. I was at Elkhart Lake one year and Robby was having a bad day. I spotted him, walking alone, through the infield. You could tell by how he held his shoulders he was bummed. I said “hey Robby” and he looked up smiled and waved. How many people do that when there day has just gone to crap? Not many. I followed his ups and downs through the troubled Indy years, and then followed him to NASCAR. His off-road stuff is stuff of legend it’s unfortunate most of it was never filmed.
I only saw Dakar once before Robby started driving it. Now despite weak advertising and relegation to late-night TV coverage I watch anyway; because you never know when Robby will do something Hoontastic.
Over the years following racing and the automotive scene in general I’ve found several outlets of motoring journalism that I read regularly. Some is straight car porn; some is Inside Baseball style car nerd stuff. Jalopnik falls in the middle, some stories are geeky, and some are porn. Oh and like me they love the Miata. But there is this one writer who like me swears a bit and like Robby Gordon he likes to drive Balls Out.
He was raised to be one thing; an open wheel driver, preferably F1. Sometimes our biggest dreams don’t come true. This crushes some people and they never amount to much. Other people take what they get and make the best of it. This is Alex Lloyd. His career as a race car driver looks like that of Indy itself; lots of potential for a bright future that gets hung up by wobbly sponsors and a broken economy.
Just like the race fans themselves Alex’s career has been affected by hard economic times. No money no ride. In the meantime he hasn’t given up. He got a real job. (if you can call Hooning about Indianapolis like a BAMF just to get the kids to school work) He writes for Jalopnik, so we readers. We of the lesser driving skill can live and learn through him. So the next time I’m in an opposite lock situation in my Miata I know to give it more gas and stay committed to the drift. Otherwise I won’t have any fun.
One day while I was reading Twitter Alex said:
“Thanks to @harrismonkey's ice driving video & recent rally expeditions, I'm determined to run a rally myself this year. Gotta make it happen.”
That’s when a light came on. Rally…Dakar…Robby Gordon… Stadium Super Trucks.
I love NBC Sports and their coverage of the Olympics. I loved their coverage of Super Steroid French Bicycle Racing; but there Dakar coverage, with the exception of bringing in Leigh Diffey, is stunted, short, and delayed. They are covering Stadium Super Trucks… and F1. Hmm I wonder where the budget is gonna go?
So I decided to take matters into my own hands. If I could get Robby hooked up with Alex and Jalopniks estimated 6 million readers then the advertising might take care of itself. Who knows maybe a sponsor might decide to give the series a boost, or maybe; just maybe they might give Alex a ride.