Inc! Issue 8
🏁 Dedicated to the Month of May - Indy 500 edition 🏁
Here in Indianapolis, May is our most important month of the year. It revolves around allergies, a mixture of winter, summer and typhoon weather and the Indy 500 - the greatest spectacle in racing. Henceforth, this newsletter is dedicated to a love letter, MPHs, RPMs, typical randomness, an update on Lil’ Inc! and of course, surrealism.
Speaking of which.
“Surrealist Tip # 7: Sleep through numbers 1-6. Write down your dreams while you sleep, sleep as fast as you can, but try not to get a ticket--and don't let the honking of other drivers wake you up.” ― Jarod Kintz.
I shared this in a previous issue, but former IndyCar driver Oriol Servia grew up 10 minutes from where Dali was born and has paid tribute to him by featuring his portrait on his helmet. Here is an old article talking about his connection to Dali and surrealism. And below is a photo I took back in the day.
And in the last issue, I talked about the show Atlanta. I am pleased to share that I got stuck in and it’s exceeded all expectations. In fact, it might be my favorite show of all time - surreal, funny, elements of horror, well-written and great acting. Add it to your list.
This Newsletter and Fame
I started writing this newsletter as a creative outlet with no expectations. The fact that there are hundreds of subscribers is unfathomable…well I guess it is, but you get my point.
I get emails from time to time which is lovely and still slightly hard to believe. Recently I met some readers IRL. Never in a million years did I think someone would approach me, or start of a conversation because of Inc!. I’ve managed to build some real connections around Japanese Mascots, The Ultimatum, some great Q&As and being authentic. Thank you to everyone that is still reading. We’re just getting started and we’re gonna keep getting weirder and weirder.
BTW, I would despise being famous, so let’s hope this newsletter has peaked.
Updates on Lil’ Inc
If you recall from earlier issues, this newsletter has a mascot (why wouldn’t it?). As a refresher, here is Lil’ Inc!
Lately, because parts of me are still stuck in the late 80’s, early 90’s, I’ve been thinking of the old cover art for the Nintendo Entertainment Systems. The NES essentially raised me during my formative teen years and has found a spot in my DNA.
And for the past couple of months, I’ve been preparing more and more food for myself, especially as I embrace more of a plant-based lifestyle.
So, please follow my thinking here. Ready?
NES cover art + vegan cooking + Lil’ Inc! =
I’d play this game!
Q & A with Michelle Della Penna, President and Founder of The Della Penna Motorsports NextGen Foundation.
As part of this issue’s nod to auto racing, I am excited to introduce this Q&A with Michelle Della Penna.
This is NextGen’s Mission:
Our mission is to inspire the next generation of girls to learn more about motorsports by sharing our love of racing; providing the opportunity for them to see it, dream it and do it.
As someone that also grew up with a father in racing, her quote “This whole foundation is basically a love letter to my dad” really struck a chord with me.
Michelle was kind of enough to share some thoughts with me via email. IMHO the future of motorsports is diversity in all areas; from drivers to owners to innovation to sustainability - but it has to start with more women in this industry.
Here’s what Michelle had to say:
What inspired you to start your foundation? I lost my father about two years ago and was really trying to figure out a way to honor his legacy. Around the same time my middle son was go karting one weekend and I noticed that out of a grid of 20 kids there were only two girls racing. It got me thinking about why, in 2021, there are only 2 girls. It got me thinking about the barriers to entry to karting and racing in general. Obviously racing is expensive and unless you have someone who can expose you to motorsports, you're not likely going to get involved. Initially I started with an idea of a karting scholarship to underwrite the cost of a karting season for a young girl to compete. As I started to brainstorm and speak with others in the industry, I realized there was quite a hole to motorsports exposure initiatives in general including karting and STEM components. I decided a karting scholarship wasn't enough and decided to launch a full fledged foundation.
What women have inspired you? I am really lucky to have been surrounded by pretty badass women most of my life. Both of my grandmothers were incredibly strong women and of course, my mom is a huge source of inspiration. She is an incredibly smart and capable person. Growing up though, Lyn St. James, was one of the only female INDY car drivers and I just idolized her. She was amazing then and having her sit on our Industry Advisory Council is so surreal to me.
What is the future of women in motorsports? I think more women in motorsports is the future of women in motorsports! Whether in the driver seat, in the pits, in the garage or as team principals, I think more women are not only getting interested in the sport but are also being encouraged and guided to careers within it. And with a huge push for more women in STEM field related careers, I think motorsports will really benefit from that movement.
What can fans and supporters do to help support women in motorsports? I think fans can do two things; one go see females race! Show advertisers and sponsors that women can sell tickets and fill seats! Big companies want to make money and if there is a way that they can make money by supporting female drivers, they will put money behind them. Two; we need to demand more diversity and call out moments where there is a lack.
What is your dream around this? Eventually I would love to be able to offer dozens of karting scholarships around the country as well as dozens of fellowships with partnering organizations. Ultimately my dream is to see women adequately represented in motorsports across all categories.
I highly recommend you support Michelle and her foundation. Please join me in donating here.
Behind the Lens
The start finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a yard of bricks. The original surface of the track (over 100 years ago) was paved with bricks. Strolling around the empty, silent track is not something I took for granted. It is a contemplative and in-the-moment experience. And perfect with a camera. So when you approach the start/finish line on foot, where drivers normally approach it at 240MPH, you stop and enjoy the moment.
Someone gets to win the Indy 500 this weekend and will continue the tradition of kissing these bricks. And I’ll always be thankful I got to experience this, at my own speed.
The stuff entering my mind.
Wildgrain reached out to me and asked if I would like an assortment of sourdough bread, hand-cut pasta, and artisan pastries. I responded to that email in .08 seconds: YES PLEASE.
It arrives frozen, ready to bake and so far DELICIOUS. I mean, look at me, I’m a bread guy. And I have an impressive sweet tooth. It’s been fantastic. If you share any of these traits, give them a try. I endorse without any kick back.
San Andreas. The combo of The Rock, Carla Cugino and Alexandra Daddario is unstoppable. And I have crushes on at least 3 of them.
Shawshank Redemption. Sometimes you need to go back to classics for some comfort.
Zihuatanejo. It’s a little place in Mexico on the Pacific Ocean. Do you know what the Mexicans say about the Pacific? They say it has no memory. That’s where I want to live the rest of my life — a warm place with no memory.
Our Father. W.T.F.
The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Jessica Chastain is incredible. And it took me a minute to figure out who was playing Jerry Falwell.
I’m all Atlanta, all the time. But I’m about to finish Season 3, so I’d love some recommendations!
The time has come. Thanks for tuning in for Issue 8 of this little newsletter. Thank you so much to everyone that reads this. Have a great rest of May.
Much love, Daniel