Sarah Fisher has been receiving love from various corners ever since she announced her all-but-retirement as a driver yesterday. One of the first in was the normally irascible Robin Miller with a nice retrospective of Sarah's career that includes a photo montage. Read it HERE.
The Indy Star also had a photo montage of Sarah with its story on her announcement. View it HERE.
Also fellow word butcher (blogger) Tony Johns leaped in with salute on Pop Off Valve. Read it HERE.
My adoration of Sarah as a fan is well established. I was originally attracted to her as a stunning role model for my (then) young daughters. And as I watched Sarah over the years, I came to admire her extreme class, persistence and positivity in the face of haters, how she stayed humble through good and bad and finally how she and her husband Andy had the courage to start their own small business -- that just happened to be a race team.
Sarah also understood who mattered most in the sport (it's the fans, fyi). She was always MAGIC with fans. Even at Indy this year when a pigged-out car made it look like she may not qualify, Sarah regularly came out of her garage, greeted fans and signed whatever she was presented her with. The photo above is one of my favorites of Sarah, because it captures her approach to stardom and racing in general.
There are always comparisons between Sarah and Danica Patrick. When Danica first came into the league, I had major rage issues, mainly because I wanted Sarah to get the attention and opportunities that Danica got. I was jealous. (See "Fisher Fans Create Run on Danica Patrick Voodoo Dolls" from 2005 below) But, ironically, Sarah's refusal to hate on Danica (at least more than a tiny bit) eventually cured me of Danica Envy (and, honestly, Danica Hating) as well.
Sarah and Danica are two separate people with different personalities who have virtually nothing beyond their gender and desire to drive in common. Comparing them is a ridiculous waste of time. And I get no sense that either of them has rage toward the other. Rather than let herself get sidetracked by falling into rage and envy, Sarah didn't begrudge Danica's stardom and opportunities, but rather focused on making the best of her own situation. Yet another role model moment brought to you by Sarah Fisher.
Below are links to various things I've written about Sarah over the years, which pretty much speak to why was/is my favorite driver. I'd just add that Sarah off camera is exactly the same woman as you see on camera. And her mom and dad (Reba and Dave) and husband Andy were just real, regular people. No divaness or head cases. No asking for special rules or expecting everyone to kowtow. Just Midwestern folks keeping it real.
It's too bad Sarah never won as a driver in IndyCar. That would have been a great day (and a life-threatening one for me. Her leading late at Michigan in 2002 nearly killed me). But if she did, I would anticipate every member of every crew would line pit lane to salute her. That says a lot.
|Catch Sarah Sorenstam Fever! (5/23/03)||On Being Sarah Fisher (6/4/04)||Fisher Fans Create Run on Danica Patrick Voodoo Dolls (6/09/05)|
|Sarah Fisher Goes on Record with pressdog (2/7/07)||Sarah Fisher Represents on Work-Life Balance ... (3/3/09)||pressdog Loves the Ladies, Holiday
Edition: Sarah Fisher (12/10/09)
|Quest for Cash: Drivers
Increasingly Rely on Brand Aids (3/10/10)
|Birthday Resolutions (2/7/10)||Sarah Fisher Finds Laughter (9/8/10)|