When it comes to stories and experience in the way of motorsports; I am only as much a fan and expert as growing up & living far from racetracks 95% of my life has allowed. I don't have the stories and experience of attending Indy 500s all my life. In fact, though I've watched every one on TV since I was old enough to remember(1986 maybe?) I've attended ZERO to date.
As the internet is only recently, truly reaching a higher potential for information and connectivity; I can't tell you I grew up listening to radio calls, taking trips to tracks, reading Curt Cavin columns or listening to Donald Davidson's Talk of Gasoline Alley (though I'm trying heartily to catch up via podcasts). However, in the past decade, with the true advent of the Internet, I've been better able to attempt filling my fascination and fandom. Over the past years just as the Furious Wedge was starting, I developed a cycle of authors and sites for information I'd visit regularly.
While a large majority of the Internet is filled with people who just like to shout things; one great place I got attached to quickly a few years back was an auto racing blog run through Bloomington, Indiana's Herald Times; run by writer Kurt Van der Dussen. Kurt's blog, to date, stands above all others! As I have never lived in Indiana, nor read the Herald Times; it came as quite a shock when I loaded up "Auto Racing with Kurt Van Der Dussen" today to learn that Kurt passed away after a long battle with lung cancer.
While I only know about 3 of Kurt's 30+ year career, I can tell you, in that short time Kurt was the best I read on the matter of motorsports. Kurt wrote about all forms of racing, and he wrote what he thought; but did so in a way that was not insulting or using wild thoughts & accusations. In fact, Kurt like many, may have harped on Milka Duno being a driver in IndyCar over other drivers, but many times repeated that he wanted her to prove him wrong.
Kurt didn't rant, he analyzed; and that is something I feel is truly missing from a lot of bloggers/writers/commenters out there who use the internet as a means to just shout thoughts and words without putting the thought or research behind it. Even moreso, Kurt took the time to add revisions, do a little research & talk back and forth with the commenters of the blog in the same calm and intelligent manner.
Clearly Kurt's life and career go much further than 3 years of keeping an auto-racing blog, but that is where I knew him from, and I just wanted to say, like I am sure many others, I'm going to miss Kurt's writing & insight; that same brilliant insight he filled what was his final in-depth blog, about Helio Castroneves winning the 500: Faith is the Victory.