Commentary

What's more challenging: Driving a race car or planning a wedding?

Think you're busy? Look at Sarah Fisher. She's getting married next week -- and she's got an IndyCar race at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, she writes in her diary.

Updated: September 6, 2007, 12:59 PM ET
By Sarah Fisher | Special to ESPN.com

With coffee in hand, I've got lots of work to do today! It's the week before my wedding. On a side note, I'm not going to be single any more. Haha! Funny how you think of stupid things like that when big changes in your life are about to take place. But before I get into the hectic wedding planning, let's talk racing.

Bumpy, bumpy and more bumps. That was the Belle Isle course this past weekend. As soon as I took to the temporary street circuit, I was like "Whoa, it's really bumpy!" Once I got the feel of how the track was laid out, I started to feel more comfortable. Basically, I'm back in the classroom learning all I can about street-course driving as it's only my second street-course race and my only comparison is from St. Pete back in March.

Sarah Fisher
I feel like I'm an event planner; all these last-minute changes drive me crazy.

My teammate, Buddy Rice, spun on Friday during practice and I did the exact same thing on Saturday morning, breaking my front wing -- I was just on the power too long going into the corner. Practice was OK, still just clocking laps. A, B, C, D, E, F, G ...

It was a bit of a pain to get in and out of Belle Isle. I didn't take my motorcoach up so we stayed at the team hotel and we had to bus in and out of the island of Belle Isle. Roger Penske did a tremendous job revamping this place and it looks amazing! I came here back in the Champ Car days when I was a teenager -- I never dreamed I would be competing here one day.

Obviously, I just started my road-course career this year, so Saturday was only my fifth time qualifying on a road course. We're basically just learning. My qualifying lap wasn't amazing, but we just wanted to get it in the show. I was running in the 1:17s during practice but not consistently -- kinda like when you are at a go-kart place, you want to be as consistent as possible. Our last two qualifying attempts haven't been that great, so I wasn't going to go out there and try and set the world on fire. It's definitely bumpy here, but I really like the course.

After I qualified, I walked through the traditional media bullpen, then jumped over the wall to walk back to my pit box with Dad. Roger stopped me to ask what I thought about the course. That was really nice of him to stop me and ask my opinion. That's Roger, a real stand-up guy. He said to just keep working on it and learning.

We had our traditional appearances and autograph sessions before the race and the crowds were amazing! Lots of people in Detroit! The crew guys walked across stage with me during driver intros ... ha! And [my fiance] Andy said he would never be on stage. It's nice to give the crew guys some recognition for all of their hard work.

Hmm, the race. Yeah, it was short-lived for the No. 5 AAMCO team. When it went back to green on Lap 28, I got taken out as I was turning the corner. I was gracious to cars on the restart and let those who had a half a car more on me go. Sam [Hornish Jr.] came alongside and he wasn't up to my side pod, but I think he just got to my right rear; I didn't even see him that far. I waited till the last minute to turn in and we got together. I've been giving these guys as much respect as possible the whole weekend and throughout the first part of the race and letting them go. I really wanted to give them as much room as possible because I'm here to learn and that was my goal.

This Monday we drove the rest of the way home from Detroit. Sunday night, I was so flippin' tired we stopped half way home. I dropped Andy directly off at the DRR shop, then I met with some friends to work on, you guessed it, more wedding stuff. Lots of remaining plans and details left to finalize. We met with a potential photographer at 2 p.m. and then afterward went back to my house to work on centerpieces for the tables. After finishing the glass block centerpieces (3… hours later) we went over to Andy's mom's house, where we all met for dinner (just right!). Went to bed right after that -- it was a long day.

Tuesday, I was working out with PitFit and Shock Doctor, followed by trial hair and makeup, which took three hours, then drove to try on my altered wedding dress in Greenwood to make sure it was the perfect fit. Then I drove straight to Franklin to drop off our unity candle and pay the florist. It was back to Greenwood to find flip-flops for a rain scenario, to no avail, then I met with another photographer at 4 p.m., went tanning, then got home by 5:30 to leave for Andy's sister Megan's bridal shower at 6. The bridal show lasted until 9:30. I helped write gift items at the shower and collect and put bows on a plate for her rehearsal dinner.

Wednesday, I paid bills in the morning (annoying!). My friend Kris came over at 10 a.m. after I worked out, then it was back to wedding stuff. I made calls to tent people because our guest list just keeps growing. So, a bigger tent is now needed with lots more tables. I feel like I'm an event planner; all these last-minute changes drive me crazy.

And more people mean I need to make more centerpieces and candles. So I had to make a list of what I needed, then went to get those supplies along with ceremony popper baskets and program baskets. We decided on Tonya as the photographer and called to talk about details.

I made it home by 7 p.m., after dinner. Then I finished assembling pew bows and the remaining 18 centerpieces. I decorated baskets and worked on seating arrangements that were later canceled by Andy.

Thursday is my workout at 9 a.m. (sleep in!!) and then more wedding crap after that, plus Dad is coming in town to fix the motorcoach, and my dog, Wrigley, is coming with him! Wriggs has been with Mom and Dad in Ohio since before Sonoma.

Chicago should be a better race for us. I'm really just looking forward to getting back on an oval where I feel more comfortable. I look forward to leaving the season on an oval. Hopefully, from what we have been working on, the race will be a solid finish to lead into next year.

The offseason is two weeks from now, after the wedding and after Hawaii. I'm excited to continue to build and grow our program for 2008.

And, by the way, I finally got my iPhone and it's amazing!!

-- S

IndyCar Series driver Sarah Fisher drives the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing No. 5 Dallara/Honda. She is providing a diary to ESPN.com. For more on Sarah, go to www.sarahfisher.com.