In search of the Porcelain Goddess ...

June, 14, 2008

Why is it that some of the most memorable moments of my professional life involve almost throwing up on famous race car drivers?

Last year, IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves, who was driving team owner Roger Penske's half-million-dollar Porsche around the Belle Isle course in Detroit, was not aware of my motion-sickness issue when he decided to show me the course at a speed that when you're taking tight turns is not even close to being a good thing for my stomach.

Yes, I nearly threw up on Castroneves (to my credit, I did not, but later …)

So on Friday at Michigan International Speedway, I arrived very early and whined a bit about a tummy ache. At 1, while with the gathered media in front of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s hauler, I was front and center for ESPN's NASCAR Now. I asked him a question or two, then asked a third one. For the life of me, I have no idea what he said. I tried to focus, but that's kind of hard when everything goes to black. He was still talking when I handed the microphone to our cameraman, broke through the crowd and sprinted for the restrooms across the garage.

It was embarrassing, yes, to ask a question and then bolt. I could hear Earnhardt saying something amusing. I found out later it was something along the lines of, "I guess she didn't like my answer."

You have to admit, that's pretty funny.

No, Junior, there's no way I could judge because I was too busy trying to spare you of what would have been total unpleasantness for all involved. Thankfully, I did, but later we were all in agreement it might have supplanted my colleage Marty Smith's hilarious "Blackhawk" video from Lowe's Motor Speedway last month.

(P.S. Thanks to the MIS infield care center. Four bags if IV fluid later, I am eternally grateful for the tremendous amount of kindess and care from a fabulous doctor and staff.)
Angelique S. Chengelis is a contributor to ESPN's NASCAR coverage.


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