When we were all growing up, on Sunday evenings, we would stop what ever we were doing when we heard Jim McKay say the infamous line: “…The trill of victory and the agony of defeat…” The 90 minute Wide World of Sports on ABC was the place to see the weeks sports highlights. The snippets from legends like Howard Cosell, Bill Fleming, Keith Jackson, and others was the stuff to gab about with your buddies in first period PE class.
We have all heard of our tragic loss of Ken Block this past week. Ken was one of those guys who pursued this passion no matter the cost. He pushed himself and his vehicles to the limit. Even his death inspires us as he died doing something he absolutely loved doing. Just hours before the snowmobiling accident he posted photos of his ranch in Utah freshly coated with snow. Snow that he was going to tear up with family and friends later that day.
Like ABC’s Wide World of Sports we like to look at some incredible wins over these tragic losses.
In NASCAR Cup Series earlier in October of 2022, Ross Chastain pulled off a move that Hagerty Motorsports shared as their #1 pick for the top ten most dramatic motorsports finishes. Chastain performed a move thought only to be done in video games and “surfed the retaining wall” to go from 10th to 5th in the final lap at Martinsville. Needing only two positions on track in order to transfer into the final round of NASCAR’s elimination style playoffs, Chastain exited the second turn, grabbed fifth gear and slammed his right foot to the floor. This move also set a new stock car lap record at Martinsville.
At the end of 2021 we lost Indy legend Al Unser to cancer at 82. Unser was one of only 4 people to win the Indy 500 four times. Al was part of a racing dynasty. His brothers Bobby and Jerry were also well known in the sport along with their sons; Al Unser Jr., Robby and Johnny. Bobby who died earlier in the year won Indy 3 times. Unser started his career at 18 in 1957 and retired in 1994.
Speaking of IndyCar, The IndyCar win of the year must go to veteran Scott Dixon. With only 30 of the 80 laps left in the Music City Grand Prix, Dixon moved from 12th to 2nd with a heavily damaged car. There was a big crash that took out half the floor of the car and his crew took 4 turns of the front wing out. He won the race pushing the vehicle to its limits. The incredible win tied Mario Andretti with 53 career wins! “Kudos to the team!” Iceman Dixon exclaimed.
Bittersweet end of 2022 for Joe Gibbs Racing when Ty Gibbs (grandson of Joe Gibbs) won the 2022 Xfinity Series on Saturday November 5th. Ty’s father Coy Gibbs passed away in his sleep that night only hours after watching his son’s win. Former NASCAR racer and NFL Hall of Fame Coach, Coy was the vice chairman and COO of Joe Gibbs Racing.
As we reflect on the wins and losses let’s be inspired by their greatness and push forward to make each day, each hour and every minute count.