I became a father 14 months ago at the ripe age of 36 11/12. It’s a feeling and role I’m still getting used to. It’s made me think a lot about being a man, what it means to be a provider and protector and what I want to teach my son Oliver. I’ve also found myself thinking a lot about my dad.
I started a new job shortly after becoming a father, working for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar Series. This is an interesting connection, considering my father spent over 25 years working in motorsports, including Formula One, CART, IRL and more. I’m so proud of the work he did.
Sal Incandela (my dad) has always been a humble, quiet man to me. I feel like I inherited a lot of my personality from him. We’re also both very driven, hard working and filled with big dreams.
His big dreams took him all over the world. They took him from France to England (where he met my mum). In England he balanced the career of being a mechanic in Formula One, a devoted family man, an author – The Anatomy & Development of the Formula One Racing Car from 1975 – and somehow found time to build me a bicycle from scratch.
My parents next dream came in the American form, where my dad was hired to work in US racing with Bobby Rahal. Even as a kid, most of my family was pro-US – my dad, even my Grandfather were big fans of the States. We moved when I was 12. Yee haw.
My dad had an incredible motorsports career – working with some great people, becoming a team owner, winning races & championships and along the way, treating people with kindness. Both my mum and dad, throughout their years in racing, treated people they worked with like members of our family. I recall countless Thanksgiving, Christmas and other dinners with members of the racing community – a mechanic, an engineer, a race driver – they were always around, usually eating pasta. This was a testament to my father’s passion and love of the sport and his capacity to care for others.
Now I work in racing. And at race events, I sometimes catch a glimpse of someone I knew when I was younger, or worked with my father, or ate spaghetti bolognese at our house. It makes me proud to call my dad, Dad.
Without saying a lot, my dad has taught me a lot about being a human and father.He’s taught me to think big and dream. He’s taught me to treat others with kindness. He’s taught me to be an adventurer. He’s taught me that the father/son bond is incredibly strong. He’s taught me to be brave.
I’m still new as a father and I make mistakes constantly. There are times when I’m scared. There are times when I’m frustrated. But I know where I’m headed. And I’m so proud that my dad continues to help me – whether he knows it or not. That’s love.
Thank you Dad.
A few more images I scanned below.