You’ve certainly heard many of us here at Vintage Racecar lament the fact that today’s racecar drivers seem to be so homogenized and politically correct, as to be seemingly devoid of any kind of real character or personality. Perhaps even worse, however, so many of today’s drivers seem to combine this lack of personality, with a total lack of knowledge or appreciation for the history of the sport or the cars it was founded on. Despite this having been said, I’m delighted to be able to tell you that this is not universally true. In fact, you need look no farther than this year’s Indycar Champion Dario Franchitti and his younger ALMS-racing brother Marino for proof.
Like many racing fans of the last decade, my first impressions of Dario came from watching him on television. Whether he was in a Mercedes Touring Car or a CART Indycar, Dario showed amazing speed and driving ability—in fact championship-caliber ability. I watched his interviews after winning races, where his joy and exuberance were almost palpable. I also watched his interviews after being sidelined by accidents or mechanical incidents, where his sometimes dark mood and tense comments were remarkably candid and surprisingly not “PC” by today’s standards. In all honesty, I wasn’t sure, at that point, what to make of the talented Scot.
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