No, he wasn’t wearing the hat or the shades, and he didn’t have a proton-pack strapped to his back, but Dan Aykroyd could have been wearing pajamas and I still would have been honored to shake his hand. I got the opportunity during the pre-race festivities for the Honda Indy Toronto, when Aykroyd met up with driver and fellow Canadian James Hinchcliffe.
Chatting with Dan
The experience was one to remember. Firstly, I was so excited for the chance to interview him that I didn’t realize I was standing in the middle of his golf cart’s parking spot. I nearly avoided that disaster when someone yelled, “Look out!” just in time for me to jump out of the way. And yes, if I had gotten hit, I would have bragged that I got hit by a golf cart carrying Dan Aykroyd.
After shuffling my feet for a bit, I mustered up the courage to be the first to interview him. After the glorious hand shake, I asked him about being an INDYCAR fan, what he liked about Hinch and if he was looking forward to his experience as grand marshal. He was a true professional, answering every question with the fervor of an INDYCAR fan and the pride of a Canadian.
As I thanked him and stepped away, indycar.com editorial director Dave Lewandowski congratulated me on my brush with fame. IMS and INDYCAR photographer Chris Jones let me know he snapped a picture of my interview and would email it to me later, officially becoming my hero for the day. I take comfort in the fact that if my computer ever crashes, the photo will forever be memorialized here on the link to this blog.
After Mid-Ohio it seemed we really had some momentum going on in the team. But now an even bigger challenge was facing me; Not knowing Sonoma and having to Qualify on the first day of learning the track. The Rfactor simulator didn’t have the track for me to learn so I had to dig out my iRacing membership and shake the dust off. Some drivers also gave me some tips and heading to Sonoma, I wasn’t sure whether to feel confident or not knowing I was heading to a fast sweeping track with blind cresting turns.
Posted on: March 1, 2010
|Two things you should know about me: I’m a Colts fan and I adore Miami (please insert a Will Smith or Vanilla Ice song into your head now). So, the Super Bowl was quite the fabu combo this year. Since IZOD has the super duper, Super Bowl connections, they suggested we trick out some cars and send them south.
A New Orleans-themed car and two Indianapolis-themed cars made the rounds in Southern Florida. First stop was the Pro Football Hall of Fame golf tournament at the gorgeous Biltmore. I waited for Steve Young. I did not see Steve Young.*Sigh*But I did see a 250 pound ex-football player happily get stuck in the car.
Next stop was the W Hotel on South Beach and this was home for our cars most of the weekend. You know how hotels have to park the chichi cars at the front to let people know that rich folk are staying there? Well, the IZOD IndyCars got more attention than the Bentley, Ferrari, Lambo and Rolls Royce. And a random scooter.
At the W, Friday was arrival day for many celebs and VIP’s. In between snapping pics of Hilary Swank and Jessica Alba, we decided to crash the party with our street-legal 2-seater. With driver Davey Hamilton, we made some serious noise and turned lots of heads giving rides around South Beach. The evening before, IndyStar photographer Danese Kenon took a night ride through Ft. Lauderdale.
The highlight of our adventure was the Leigh Steinberg party on Saturday. You know, he’s the “show me the money!” guy. Not only were we smack dab in the middle of a high-roller crowd (and a Saints fan dressed up like Darth Vader), but the cars were a huge hit. As my heels sunk into the dirt at this party-in-a-park, I managed to snap some good pictures of the curious party-goers…and Leigh Steinburg himself got in the car!
Even though I got a farmer’s tan, cussed out a shuttle van driver and didn’t get to stay for the game (still love my Colts), the trip was a total success. Thanks to the “crew” for all of your hard work. If I need an ab workout, I know where to go for some hilarious stories. And if I need a cardio workout, I’ll be sure to aimlessly walk around the wrong convention center for a half hour.