As a big fan of Indycar racing, no doubt the crash last Sunday that claimed the life of Dan Wheldon has made an impact on me. I was watching live on TV, as I was when I saw the fatal crashes of Jeff Krosnoff as a pretty young kid, and Dale Earnhardt several years later. I think this one may have had the biggest impact on me though, as it's the first time since I've been racing myself that a driver in a series I follow closely has died in a crash.

That said I can't say it changes my desire to race one bit. If I somehow got the opportunity to race something like an IndyCar, you better beleive I would be there in a heartbeat. I'm sure there are many out there that feel the same as me. I already realized and accepted the risks before I even started racing.

Still, that doesn't mean we should ignore driver safety. I never quite understand why oftentimes it takes a tragedy to improve safety. To me it's pretty obvious that racing in a huge pack of 34 open wheel cars at 225 MPH is a pretty risky proposition. Then again, it was one that all 34 drivers were willing to take.

I usually follow all the forums and blogs closely to keep up with the latest news, but I've learned from the past and avoided them for a while, because I don't always want to read everyone's opinions after something like this. People seem quick to make judgments like if this driver had done this and that driver had done that, then this and that would or wouldn't have happened, etc. etc. People also seem quick to pass judgment on the officials and the series, claiming that one or two simple rule changes will "fix" everything, like create some perfectly safe, exciting, sustainable and financially successful racing.

I watched the replays several times and personally I beleive the actions taken by all drivers were relatively reasonable, and everything that happened was mostly just the function of the situation the drivers were put in. I do beleive the Indycar series does a pretty good job overall, and if fixing everything was so easy, it would have already been done.

What I do think we saw is one guy run out of luck. Three drivers went flying in similar fashion in that crash, just like I've seen maybe half or more of the veteran drivers do at some point in their IndyCar careers. Sometimes (as was the case with two of the three drivers on Sunday) drivers walk away, sometimes they don't.

By all accounts, Dan Wheldon was a good man and a great racer, and I wish his family the best.