INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Despite the internet age and its revolution of instant answers, Donald Davidson isn’t ready to pick up a cell phone or bank on anything except himself.
Davidson’s near photographic memory for race cars of the past and present in Indianapolis is timeless. For example, when I asked him who finished 11th in the 1992 Indianapolis 500, Davidson had the answer in under two seconds.
“That was Lyn St. James, she was rookie of the year,” Davidson said laughing.
This past week, Davidson, who has been the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s historian since 1998, crossed off his latest milestone, entering the United States Auto Club Hall of Fame.
After originally visiting Indianapolis in May of 1964, Davidson returned in 1965 and landed a job at USAC. On July 20, the organization rewarded him for 30-plus years of dedicated work.
“It means a lot because when you look at the other people that are in it. I think there are 72 people in there now and there are only eight or ten that I hadn’t met,” Davidson said.
Not bad for a kid from England, who made the decision to move to Indianapolis without a job waiting for him.
“I wasn’t a very good student,” Davidson said. “I scraped through school. I knew I could flip hamburgers or do something if need be. I just knew in my heart, leaving for Indianapolis was the thing to do.”
Believe it or not, for this car junkie, practical is the only way to go.
“I drive a (Chevrolet) Malibu which I bought from CarMax. Sorry, a lot of people think I drive a Ferrari or a Jaguar. No, I am a cheap-o.”
Let Donald be a lesson; even with all the knowledge in the world, you still need friends to quiz you.