God save our gracious Queen. Long live our noble Queen. God save the Queen!
MONTEREY, California – When she ascended to the throne as Queen Elizabeth II following the death of her father, George VI on February 6, 1952, these are the words that every member of the vast British Commonwealth knew as their national anthem.
The official coronation was June 2, 1953, and Queen Elizabeth oversaw a vast British Empire. Through colonization of lands around the world, it was once said, “The sun never sets on the British Empire” because somewhere around the world, a nation or a territory was under British control.
That is why the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, has such a profound effect on many drivers in the NTT IndyCar Series.
“She was a wonderful woman,” four-time IndyCar champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti told NBC Sports. “That is the best way to describe her, an absolutely wonderful woman.”
Franchitti is from Edinburgh, Scotland, and part of the United Kingdom, which also includes England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
But there are 15 countries part of the British Commonwealth including Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Soloman Islands, Tuvalu, and the United Kingdom.
From 1841 to 1997, Hong Kong was a colony and under British Rule before it agreed to return the massive city to China. South Africa was a British colony until 1961.
The NTT IndyCar Series includes drivers Scott McLaughlin of Christchurch, New Zealand; Scott Dixon of Auckland, New Zealand; Will Power of Toowoomba, Australia; Callum Ilott of Cambridge, United Kingdom; Jack Harvey of Bassingham, United Kingdom, Stefan Wilson of Sheffield, United Kingdom and Devlin DeFrancesco and Dalton Kellett from Toronto, Canada.
Though each nation has a soverign government, Queen Elizabeth II served as the official head of state.
Upon her death, it was the first time those drivers of those respective lands never have had a queen as their official head of state.
Heartbreaking 💔 RIP to Her Majesty The Queen 🙏🏻 She was everything that makes us proud to be 🇬🇧 Our Queen, forever! https://t.co/KJSVgCtujJ
— Jack Harvey (@jack_harvey45) September 8, 2022
Ilott, 23, is among one of the younger drivers in IndyCar. The member of Juncos Hollinger Racing spoke of the magnitude of the moment.
“For me and my mum, she was a symbol of our country,” Ilott said. “She was an icon of what we are, to be British. She was the most British person there was. As a country, her loss is super sad and touched me in ways I couldn’t think of before.
“It’s weird because you would see her on the paper notes, on the coins, you would see her on TV every Christmas day. It was support for the country we will miss very dearly.”
The Monarchy and the Royal Family are one of the things that make the British Empire and the United Kingdom so unique.
Attend an NHL game in Canada, and the Queen’s photo hangs high above the ice in the arena.
“Here’s the simple way with the monarchy, they are there in times of need,” Ilott said. “The country is run by the government itself, but if there is ever anarchy or something, they can step in and take over.
“They are always there. The background support for everyone, whether it is emotional, it’s quite personal to a lot of people in the UK.
“They are the face of me, the face of the country, the face of the flag and for quite a lot of world whether people like it or not.”
Arrow McLaren SP is an IndyCar team that has majority control by McLaren, a racing and automotive brand that was founded by New Zealand’s Bruce McLaren. The McLaren Formula One team is based in Woking, England.
The McLaren Technology Centre was officially opened by the Queen back in 2004, and the team expressed its sadness.
“The team at McLaren Racing mourn the sad passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, whilst also remembering her incredible reign. Our thoughts are with The Royal Family and people around the world during this terribly sad time.”
Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II
1926 – 2022 pic.twitter.com/lGSTqAPI5s
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) September 8, 2022
Her Majesty’s death has had an even bigger impact on teams and drivers in Formula One. But many of IndyCar’s top drivers are among the millions mourning the loss of the Queen, who was such a vital part of their culture.
The United Kingdom’s period of official lasts for 10 days though her funeral Monday, Sept. 19.
With the Queen’s passing, her son, King Charles III, has ascended to the throne.
God save our gracious King. Long live our noble King. God save the King!
Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500
Superman goes where he’s needed and with his cap flying stiffly behind him in the 18th running of the Knoxville Late Model Nationals, Jonathan Davenport scored a $50k win over Iowa’s Tyler Bruening on the half-mile Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway.
It was the ninth Lucas Oil Late Model win of the season in his 29th start – a statistic that includes a remarkable six consecutive wins from July 24th through August 26th. Davenport also has four World of Outlaws Late Model victories and a half-dozen wins in other major series this season for a total of 21 overall.
Even with all that success, this was a bucket list win for man called Superman. It is his first at Knoxville – a track famed for spring car racing that is becoming a staple of late models as well.
Davenport led the 50-lap affair early, but gave it up to Bobby Pierce on Lap 9 as the field returned to green after a caution. Two laps later, Bruening commanded the top spot and held it for the next 37 laps.
In the closing laps, Bruening stretched his advantage to two seconds until Davenport found the high side. With Lap 45 in the books, Davenport closed the gap and was on Bruening’s back bumper by Lap 47. Davenport dove to the bottom groove in Turn 1, pulled alongside and took the lead on the following circuit, denying Bruening the first Lucas Oil Late Model win of his career.
Jonathan Davenport wins the Lucas Oil Late Model Knoxville Nationals! #LucasLMNats pic.twitter.com/RuZGuVNIEk
— Knoxville Raceway (@knoxvilleraces) September 18, 2022
“I wish I could have said that I was planning for that,” Davenport said in a press release. “I was just too tight there. I didn’t have the best race car by far. I made a mistake first in lapped traffic I thought I might get rolled on the outside and let Bobby [Pierce] around me so I chose the bottom and let Tyler around me.
“I was trying to race Earl [Pearson Jr.] as clean as I could there, but I knew I had to get by him. I got a big run on Tyler there one time getting into one. I could have blasted on him, but I knew this could be his first crown jewel, so I didn’t want to take it away from him like that.”
More: Mike Marlar wins 2021 Knoxville Late Model Nationals
For Bruening, the disappointment was bitter. In 40 combined starts this season with the Outlaws and Lucas Oil, he’s earned seven top-10s, but the closest he came to winning was a pair of fourth-place results at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D. and Boone Speedway in his native Iowa.
“I needed two less laps I guess to hold him off,” Bruening said. “I don’t know. When you are out front for all those laps it’s pretty tough to move out of your line that’s worked the whole race.
“I didn’t know how close he was until it was too late there getting off of four. I didn’t know how high I could go if all the way up there would do it. It was fun to run up front. We just got beat by the best in the world right now.”
Brandon Sheppard scored his 25th top-five of the season and rounded out the podium.
God save our gracious Queen. Long live our noble Queen. God save the Queen!