A few years ago I had the opportunity to attend the Daytona 500. You have to see it to believe it. I recommend putting it on your list of things to try and sneak in once before you die. It has nothing to do with being a racing fan. The sights, sounds, smells, the people. It is bigger than life. It’s also a sign that spring can’t be far away every February.

When you watch racing (and it doesn’t matter what kind, NASCAR, Indy Car, whatever), one thing you can count on is the fact that there’s going to be a wreck. And usually, it’s because one driver did something he or she probably shouldn’t have. Sure there can be equipment failure and other things beyond a driver’s control, but usually someone used bad judgement.

Another thing you can count on is that when one driver’s bad judgement causes a crash, the other driver(s) involved are not happy about it. So displeased in fact, that there will often be out-of-car confrontations, pushing & shoving, arguments, helmet throwing, lingering grudges and more. You will also notice that you rarely see any of this from the truly great drivers.

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Are the great drivers not upset from being eliminated from the race? Do they have better control of their tempers? Are they ok with the fact that their car is destroyed? Nope. None of the above. Just a different perspective.

The great drivers understand (and you will hear them say this over and over again) that they blame themselves for ending up in that position. In the position that left them vulnerable to being collected up by the other car in the wreck. Sure the other driver started the episode, but they left themselves in a position to be included in the mess.

Just something to think about as we go about our day. Sometimes it’s not enough to know what were doing. It’s also important to be aware of the actions of those around us, and understand the effect their actions could have on us and what we’re trying to accomplish.

Want to stay out of the wall? Remember that it’s just as important to understand what the other drivers are up to as it is to drive well yourself. Especially at 200 miles an hour.

Pete Hanson is on 98.1 Minnesota's New Country weekday mornings from 5:30 to 10:00.

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