Risk management is a critical element of wealth management, and that same element carries over into our own Bobby Dalzell’s other job each Memorial Day weekend at the Indianapolis 500. This race is the largest single-day sporting event in the world. Millions watch as 33 drivers reach speeds of over 230mph while sitting just two inches off of the asphalt that whizzes underneath them. While auto racing remains one of the most dangerous sports around, with an almost $2 million dollar prize for the winner at stake, drivers will use any tools at their disposal to balance the risk and reward. This is why each driver has their own eye-in-the-sky known as a spotter to act as sort of a defensive coordinator and to look out for crashes.
The driver hears only three voices on his in-helmet radio; the race strategist in pit lane and the two spotters, one standing on the roof in turn one and another high atop turn three of the two-and-a-half- mile oval track. There is no doubt the spotters have the two best “seats in the house,” however there is no time to sit or relax as every lap requires full attention. It is rewarding to play a small part in what could be the biggest day in an athlete’s career. For spotters, winning is second to keeping everyone safe and making sure everyone goes home to their families. For the past several years Bobby has worked with James Hinchcliffe who drives the #29 Genysys Honda for Andretti Autosport.
This year was special, and the buzz around the speedway on race day morning was indescribable. Bobby saw groups of people who must only see each other at this race each year, celebrating, embracing and just thrilled to be reunited with something they love. There were families taking annual photos at the yard of bricks, and tailgaters eagerly toasting strangers. 40% capacity meant around 135,000 fans attended the race, the largest sports gathering in the world, and every single one of them boasted a big smile last Sunday.