These Walls Still Bite

Posted By: Mike Thomsen · 5/16/2013 4:14:00 PM

After an incident-free week of practice, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway finally saw an incident Thursday, when popular rookie Conor Daly hit the wall in turn one.

As I mentioned on Twitter, I'm gutted for Daly and the A.J. Foyt crew, because the Noblesville native is one of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet.

I first got to know the Daly family in 1988. I was an 18-year old kid just out of high school, working for WTOL-TV in my hometown of Toledo, Ohio.

I was sent to cover a personal appearance Derek Daly was making on behalf of his sponsor, Raynor Garage Doors, at a business in my neighborhood.

I interviewed Derek for a few minutes, and then chatted with him after I stopped rolling tape. He was extremely friendly to me, and said that I should look him up at the Michigan 500.

I wasn't sure if he was just being nice, so you can imagine my surprise when I was walking with my dad in the garage area at Michigan, Derek was on a scooter, he stopped, yelled out, (in his classic Irish accent), MIKE!!!!, and said hello, needless to say, my dad was pretty impressed that an Indianapolis 500 driver stopped to say hello to his son.

Fast forward 20 years, and I was briefly a television producer at WISH-TV, one of my co-workers, was Derek Daly, and he introduced me to the next generation of racing Daly's, son Conor.

Conor is a sponsor's dream, he's articulate, smart, savvy, and most important, talented. Make no mistake, he'll bounce back from this setback quickly.


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