A means to an end

Patrick Crane
Feb 16, 2014 · 2 min read

Yesterday, as part of a family trip to Florida, we were treated to an extraordinary experience at Daytona International Speedway. As part of the renewables movement, we were asked to join Marco Krapels, Oscar-nominated actor Mark Ruffalo and a collection of other remarkable people to watch Leilani Münter race her heart out in the ARCA series of NASCAR. Leilani races in a series that’s hardcore US0fA, with an unexpected message painted across the hood of her car: “Go 100% Renewable!” There was an almighty shunt early in the race which Leilani thankfully avoided, but just a lap later, a competitor bounced off the wall right into her. Her car was in pieces, but we watched her and her crew fight for the rest of the race to hold the car together and race on — the stress and physical pain of driving a car with a dying engine and ruined aerodynamics amongst a pack of cars going at 180mph+ must have been extreme. Racers do whatever it takes to stay on the track. It’s what they do. But I was reminded of other sporting greats as I watched Leilani and her team struggle on. Muhammad Ali knew that the greater fighter he became, the more he would further the cause for equality in America and around the world. He saw the critical relationship between greatness and the cause he believed in. Don’t get me wrong. Ali loved to fight. And Leilani clearly loves to race. But she also knows that as she continues to climb in ARCA and soon graduates to NASCAR, her message of environmental responsibility will break through to the masses. Leilani, great stuff.

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