Author Topic: Cindy McCain Takes The Wheel  (Read 1911 times)

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Offline Nubbins

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Cindy McCain Takes The Wheel
« on: January 29, 2009, 05:53:55 PM »
One of my co-workers just sent me this... I am speechless... and I have a whole new respect for Cindy McCain even if she does look like an alien.

McCain, wife of Republican nominee for president opens up about her love for DRIFTING!

Cindy McCain takes the wheel in her own race

By David Picker
Special to

Cindy McCain doesn't remember all the details. It might have been six years ago. Maybe seven. But this much, at least, McCain recalls with perfect clarity: She was watching television with her oldest son, Jack, when footage flashed across the screen of race cars skidding sideways as though they were on ice.

Looks kind of cool, McCain thought to herself, but how'd they do that?

For most people, the curiosity probably would have ended there. But McCain, the wife of the Republican nominee for president, Sen. John McCain, is anything but ordinary. Although a wide swath of the public views her as reserved and distant, she is actually quite the opposite in private. When Cindy McCain, 54, encounters something that intrigues her, she embraces it with the zeal of a toddler on Christmas Eve.

And so McCain began to learn as much as possible about this mysterious driving technique. It turned out it was called drifting and had origins tracing back to the mountains of central Japan in the early 1990s. Months after first seeing drifting on television, McCain traveled to Japan with Jack, now a senior at the Naval Academy and an avid fan of motorsports, to take drifting lessons with a top instructor.

"I love it," McCain said, though she described herself as a below-average drifter. "I'm probably a little too cautious with it because it is abnormal from what you're taught when you're taught to drive. You're taught to keep control of your car. Everything you were taught in driver's ed, forget. That's what drifting is about."


When told that McCain was into drifting, Gardiner was speechless for a few moments. "It's … absolutely … incredulous," he said. "If you look at Sen. McCain, he looks like the archetypal grandfather. And to find out that his missus is into drifting is, frankly, astounding."

Here's another fact many might find surprising: Cindy McCain, an heiress to a multimillion-dollar fortune, has had a passion for racing nearly her entire life. Her father, the late James Hensley, was known for founding one of the largest Anheuser-Busch distributors in the United States. But he also loved cars and first took McCain, raised as an only child, to the Indy 500 when she was about 12 years old. That inspired her in high school, when she took a class in auto mechanics and regularly attended drag races with friends.

"I'm a gearhead," McCain said with a smile in an interview last month in Phoenix.

McCain's love of sports carried into adulthood. In 1986, six years after marrying John McCain, she got a pilot's license and bought a small plane so she could fly him around Arizona in his first U.S. Senate race, which ended in victory. She owns a small percentage of the Arizona Diamondbacks, finished a half-marathon in 2005, regularly attends NASCAR races, and participates in water sports with her husband, who is 72, and the four children they have together.


In April 2004, just one day after returning home to Arizona after one of her many trips to Japan to drift with Jack, Cindy McCain's spirit was put to the test. She collapsed while having lunch with friends and couldn't talk or walk. At the age of 49, McCain had suffered a mild stroke and was hospitalized for four days.

Six weeks later, McCain was still limited physically and, she said, mired in depression. Jack knew exactly what type of therapy was needed. As a 50th-birthday gift, he bought her a four-day course to the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Chandler, Ariz.

Driving? Six weeks after a stroke? McCain thought the idea was crazy.

"I don't think I can do this," she recalls telling Jack. "And he said, 'Mom, yes you can.'"

The course was called Executive Protection. Students learned to ram parked cars, perform 180-degree spins and handle perilous situations such as drive-by shootings and hijackings.

For McCain, the course offered all that and more. It helped restore her confidence and improve certain skills, such as coordination and concentration.

"I remember her wanting to build up that driving skill set again," said Danny Bullock, her instructor at Bondurant. "I think she was a little nervous that she wouldn't be able to react in time with the car if she needed to make a turn." He added: "She did exceptionally well."

In fact, McCain did so well that, a year later, in May 2005, she returned to Bondurant to hone her drifting skills. She and Jack then rebuilt a Nissan 240SX, installing a tricked-out engine and other parts conducive to drifting (the car is not street-legal). They even competed in amateur drift competitions in the U.S. as a mother-son tandem, finishing as high as second place.

I mean... I'm blown away!  It's incredible to think that anyone over 40 years old would be into drifting, let alone someone with a racing background... who is Cindy Goddamn McCain.

Cool shit.  The whole article is here:
« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 05:58:46 PM by Nubbins »
8=o tation