Black Racing Champs Cross White Lines More Than Once
Lewis Hamilton and James Bubba Stewart may not know each other, but their success is not full-blown. Both have been champion racers in their category. Both are 28.
At the time of this writing Hamilton is 4th in Formula One (F1) driver points with 161, and 1 victory after 10 starts. About a year ago at this time he was 5th in the 2012 standings with 117 points with 8 races left. At that time he did win the Italian Grand Prix in Monza and moved into 2nd place, it would have no effect on points leader Fernando Alonzo. In fact Sebastion Vettel would eventually win the 2012 F1 Championship (281-pts), and has not let up since then (Hamilton finished 4th in 2012 with 190-pts). Vettel Currently leads the 2013 standings with 272-pts.
Back then Hamilton drove a Mercedes Benz for McLaren, he has since switched to the Mercedes team outright after lengthy rumors. Considering the much-storied McLaren has been using Mercedes (Merc) engines since shortly after the death of their previous champion driver Ayrton Senna, one has to wonder if this move will benefit Hamilton and Mercedes the way Michael Schumacher's move from Bennetton to Ferrari led to multiple championships?
Not to mention if Hamilton will has as much control with Mercedes design as Schumacher did with the Italian motorcar team. The deal between McLaren and Mercedes allowed Hamilton to get an early start with Merc, he is currently estimated to be earning $40 million a year (Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers earns $25 million per year), with a net worth of well over $200 million.
Stewart hails from Florida (Bartow) and lives in Haines City. At the age of 27 he has already won 5 World Finals (3 World Supercross, and 2 Motorcross of Nations). Along with the title came a long list of injuries that is normal to dirt-bike racing.
Stewart was last known to have signed a contract with Joe Gibbs racing. Of course Gibbs is the former Superbowl winning coach of the Washington Redskins. He and his son J.D. Gibbs run the auto, and son Coy Gibbs fielded a team in the Motorcross series in 2008 (JGRMX). Stewart is said to have plans to drive cars for NASCAR in the near future. It was his dad James Stewart Sr., who introduced him to Motorcross racing.
The only downside to this story is that news of the accomplishments of these two great men of racing is not common knowledge among African Americans, especially youths. I don't have to elaborate that it's been harder for black racers to break the color line than the finished line, so young fans in the black community need to be informed.
Chris Stevenson is a regular columnist for blackcommentator, Political Affairs Magazine, and a syndicated columnist. Follow him on Twitter, and Facebook, you don't have to join any of them. Watch his video commentary Policy & Prejudice for clbTV & Follow his Blogtalkradio interviews on 36OOseconds. Respond to him on the link below.