Mar 15, 2002
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After reading about Rich Oliver's crash at 145 mph up against the wall at Daytona, two very striking thoughts hit me:<BR><BR>1. What kind of stupid organization (Read: AMA) would flash cautions in only the chicane and not indicate there were problems elsewhere? Why does<BR>safety continue to plague our only premier race series here in the U.S.? Why?!<BR><BR>2. As to Rich's injuries, it really is clear that road racing is one dangerous profession, but I am also affected by how "casually" Rich seems to<BR>be taking the loss of a finger. There's not another sport on the planet where you would find a tougher guy than this Rich character. Anyone else cringe at the idea of grinding a digit down to the bone, and then issuing the declaration that "I just wanna get healthy again...to get back into it"?<BR><BR>He's a "HE-MAN" in my book. I am mighty impressed.<BR><BR>But it does not surprise me, because I go to Laguna early each year and watch the teams un-pack and set up.<BR><BR>We were hanging out at Rich's canopy, and I referred to Rich (talking to my pal), "There's the Champ."<BR><BR>I did not think that he had heard me, and he just laughed out loudly at my remark.<BR><BR>I meant that, Rich.<BR><BR>Dave Johnson