Goodbye, friend

By now most of you have probably read this post from Zack over at IndyCar Advocate.  I had a feeling, when the articles were fewer in recent weeks, something like this would be coming.  I completely understand it–I’ve had other blogs in the past, and eventually they just run their course.  Sometimes it’s because the subject of the blog goes away, sometimes the passion for the topic ebbs, and sometimes you just have to make the right decision for yourself and your family.  It’s the reason I have never established or promised a set schedule of posts for this blog.  Because I want it to remain fun for me, and not something that becomes a chore.

It was probably three years ago when I stumbled upon Zack’s blog for the first time, or at least the first time I remember.  I had several friends who were big NASCAR fans, but my only IndyCar fan friend was living on the other side of the country.  I had nobody to talk to about the sport, and seeing my friends excitedly discussing NASCAR made me seek out someone–anyone–who would talk IndyCar with me.  I found IndyCar Advocate, and after reading for a few weeks, finally decided to send Zack an e-mail.  I had no idea what to expect.

Much to my surprise and delight, I got a response.  And it turned into a multiple-e-mail-long discussion of the sport, the upcoming Indy 500, and the difficult state of Andretti Autosport at the time.  After the disastrous 2011 qualifying weekend, Zack talked me down off the metaphorical ledge.  It was through those discussions, and my continued avid reading of everything on his blog, that I became a bigger IndyCar fan.

Most of you know my story–my father introduced me to IndyCar racing when I was just a little girl.  We followed it together as I was growing up, but while I was away at college, and later law school, my father’s interest in the sport waned for a variety of reasons.  I still followed the sport, and watched the Indy 500 every year, but not at the level I had in the past.  Certainly not at the level I do now.

Zack’s love of the sport was infectious for me.  I would comb Twitter to make sure I hadn’t missed one of his posts, and when I was finally able to attend my first Indy 500 in 2012, we exchanged e-mails and Twitter replies throughout the entire race weekend.  None of the people who attended the race with me were primarily IndyCar fans, so it was great to have a real fan with whom I could share my excitement.

When I was toying with the idea of breaking into blogging, I exchanged many e-mails with Zack about my options.  When I had a chance to write for another site but had a bad feeling about it, he listened to me talk my way through it.  I eventually decided not to write for that site, and when I started this blog, one of my biggest thrills was going over to IndyCar Advocate and seeing Sticker Reds listed in the blogroll.

I have never met Zack in person, though based on tweets we both posted it seems we were probably only a few feet away from each other in the garage at Indy last year, but he was always kind and gracious in responding to e-mails and tweets.  We had a lot of fun conversations when I was leading his fantasy league for most of the first half of last year.  I hope he doesn’t mind my considering him a friend.

Zack, I’ll miss reading your blog, but I respect and understand your decision.  I was hoping we’d get to read more about your children and their growth as IndyCar fans, but I admire you for doing what is best for your family.  I’ll always be thankful I found your blog, and I appreciate all your correspondence via e-mail and Twitter more than you know.  I wish you the best in whatever the future holds for you, and I hope you always remain an avid IndyCar fan.  You will be missed.

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