Merry Christmas From Mr. & Mrs. Oilpressure

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It’s that time of year again, where I pack up the ol’ keyboard to take a little bit of a break for Christmas. This will be the twelfth Christmas since I started this site. I must say that I’ve never been more glad to put a bow on a year and an IndyCar season, as I have been this year.

Like most other sports, the IndyCar season got a late start – by almost three months. Once it got started, it was somewhat disjointed and, quite honestly – the racing wasn’t that great at a lot of the tracks. The Indianapolis 500 was postponed by three months and ran with no fans. The race itself was a decent race, but I think every participant will tell you that it wasn’t the same without the energy and pageantry that the fans usually bring.

We did get a championship battle, after it looked as if Scott Dixon was going to run away with the title. He eventually won it, but not without a good fight from Josef Newgarden. I think all of the drivers are hoping we can race in front of larger crowds next season, even if there will be schedule adjustments along the way. We’ve already seen one major move just yesterday, with Long Beach being moved to September as next season’s finale.

The difficulties our family experienced in the second half of 2020 have been well documented. My wife, Susan, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on July 7. Less than three weeks later, my mother dropped dead unexpectedly. Yes she was 96, but she was in excellent health until that day.

Susan’s battle has had more good news than bad. Her cancer is still confined to the pancreas, with no sign of spreading. Today, she wraps up Round Eleven (of twelve) of her chemo regimen.

She had a setback last Friday. She was feeling good and was sitting on the floor wrapping Christmas gifts. She got up to get something and tripped over an oversized roll of wrapping paper. When she fell, she landed on her knee and her face. Her face was fine, but she ended up cracking her tibia, just below her knee-cap. She is now wearing a knee brace and using a walker to get around. She didn’t need this, but her spirits are still strong and she’s just dealing with it as just another road bump.

As we head into Christmas, we both have a bright outlook. Susan will completely wrap her chemo for good around New Year’s Day. Although she will feel bad for a few days as we open up the new year, it will get much easier for her from there – although we’re not certain what the next step is beyond that point. We are both focused on her recovery and both want to return to race tracks in 2021. Assuming we can accomplish Plan B sometime in late January, we have targeted Barber as her coming out party, and have every intention of both of us returning to our full Month of May schedule in five months. We are certainly happy to leave this year behind us.

So, it is time to start my annual Christmas break from here. I will not post anything here next week before Christmas, or the week between Christmas and New Year’s. I plan to return here on Monday Jan 4.

Until then, Susan and I want to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas, and I hope we all have a happier 2021. Susan and I are looking ahead to the new year with great confidence that the next one will be as good as this past year was bad. My parting shot for this year is an oldie but a goodie that Susan created a few years ago, that I run every year here just before Christmas. We hope we all get to go to many race tracks in 2021.

Susan and George Phillips

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12 Responses to “Merry Christmas From Mr. & Mrs. Oilpressure”

  1. Merry holidays everyone. Thanks for another year of great content George, and keep fighting Susan.

  2. James T Suel Says:

    I wish you and Susan a very merry Christmas and a better new year. Looking forward to 2021 being a better year for Racing. Hope to meet you both in may.

  3. Merry Christmas, George and Susan. I hope next year is much better for you than 2020 has been. I hope to see you at Barber.

  4. Merry Christmas George and Susan-It seems like almost everyone says the same thing about this year. I find myself looking forward to New Years Eve just to end it. Sorry to hear about Susan’s fall. We battled cancer this year as well but nothing like what you have been through.

    It will be strange to have the LBGP as a season ender in the fall. It seems like most were thrilled with the news which I don’t really understand. It’s one of the most boring races of the year. If the Championship is tight by then it will come down to qualifying.

  5. billytheskink Says:

    Merry Christmas George and Susan! Prayers for a peaceful season and a new year the brings health and healing to you all.

  6. Wishing you and Susan all the best going forward into 2021. Merry Xmas

  7. A happy farewell to 20 and looking forward to next year with optimism. Hoping for a great 21 everyone but especially the Oilpressures. Merry Christmas, George and Susan.

  8. Hoping you all have a great Christmas. Here’s to a better New Year. Susan, ouch! I hope you are dancing again soon.

    I am thrilled that the Long Beach GP is the last race. It has been ages since I have attended the season finale. And my commute is only about 20 minutes.

    Thanks to both of you, Susan and George, for all of your OP postings. I look forward to each one and appreciate all the work you do on our behalf.

    Be well, Everybody!!

  9. Merry Christmas to you and Susan. We wish you both the happiest of holidays and hope to see in the upcoming year.

  10. Leslie Bissell Says:

    Merry Christmas to you and Susan and best wishes for a healing and positive New Year. Looking forward to Barber and to you and Susan being there. I am also looking forward to the Nashville race!

  11. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to both of you, George and Susan, and everybody else here. Thank you for keeping the lights on here, as one of the remaining IndyCar gathering spots.

    Here’s to a much, much, much better 2021.

  12. Talón de Brea Says:

    I’m so glad there’s something for Susan and you to be optimistic about. Susan’s injury is not good, but she can put it in perspective better than most of us could. Stay strong, keep fighting!

    As for Long Beach being the season ender, it’s certainly a big event, so in that sense especially worthy of being the last race. September and early October are the hottest times of the year in Southern California, but the weather at the LBGP race course would be more temperate, as it’s right on the shore — 108 at, oh let’s say Fontana, might be 88 or 90 with an ocean breeze in Long Beach. Curently, things in SoCal will be getting worse before they get better, so if the fans, teams and series want a Long Beach race after missing a year, later offers a better chance than sooner.

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