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Keeping It Off the Wall
by Ed Donath

Will Power
3/20/08

Cairo, NYŚWillpower is not an Australian kid driving an insectoid machine that looks as though it was mergified from the ugliest parts of every Indy car that preceded it.

Willpower is intestinal fortitude, stick-to-itiveness and guts, specifically the guts to say NO to things that are harmful to our health and well-being.

Obviously, eliminating bad habits, eating healthier foods, getting enough exercise, saving for a rainy day, paying bills on time, being a better spouse and/or parent, and most of all keeping the faith are the highest priority uses of our willpower.

But at some point during the last dozen years most of us decided that the bastardized form and function of Indy car racing that was created by the inheritor of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was, in fact, harmful to the health and well-being of our beloved speed sport.

With that realization came the commitment to never support such a sham. With that realization came, for most of us, the willpower to say NO to the antithesis of what we believe open-wheel racing should be.

Other than the fact that Will Power (the racecar pilot) and a handful of his fellow Champ Car drivers have been arbitrarily re-located by their employers as a result of the self-serving whim of the former owners of the Champ Car World Series, is there anything about the splitter's Indy series that has changed?

The answer is a resounding NO.

Most successful drivers understand, from experience, that the best strategy incorporates the philosophic statement: "Let the race come to you."

The implication of that philosophy is that it's wrong to discard pre-race strategy early. Keeping one's nose clean in the first stint or two while working on set-up changes, tire/fuel management, and flawless pit stops almost always pays off at the finish.

Sticking to any strategy, however, takes willpower. Believing that the race will come to you (us) is extremely difficult. Nonetheless, something better will eventually come along if we have the willpower to continue saying NO to the things that we know are bad for us.

Keep the faith.

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