I am the first to admit that I am not a car guy. Sure, I love going to the North American International Auto Show every year (one of the crown jewels of Detroit), and looking at classic cars are fun, but I couldn't pick out a V6 from a V8 and when people start talking about horsepower, I suddenly know how other people must feel when I'm droning on about the latest changes to the defensive scheme the Detroit Lions are making. And I'm certainly not a big race car guy. I find NASCAR unbearable (sorry NASCAR fans) and while I'll watch the Indy 500 if nothing else is going on, nothing else was going on Sunday and I still didn't watch much of the race, and the only reason why I turned in at all was to see how Danica Patrick was doing, because I think her success in race car driving is a really interesting story. That said, I can tell you who won. Mr. Ashley Judd.
That's right, Indy 500 winner, Dario Franchitti, is married to actress Ashley Judd. Though winning the Indy 500 may catapult Dario to his own fame, apart from that of his wife. As most people who know me already know, I am a big Ashley Judd fan. She is universally underrated in those yearly "Maxim Top 100" lists (is she even listed usually? -- And as an aside, Maxim's list is usually awful. I think Lindsey Lohan was listed #1 this year, which is all that needs to be said. Judd wasn't listed. Something's wrong with that. Any list that doesn't have Judd, Charlize Theron and Las Vegas' Vanessa Marcil (none of whom made the Maxim list at all) in the top 10, is completely illegitimate) and while I won't be seeing her newest film, "Bug" (not a horror movie fan), I really liked High Crimes (with Morgan Freeman) and Double Jeopardy (with Tommy Lee Jones) wasn't awful.
What is great about Judd though, more than her acting and her looks, is that she's a huge sports fanatic. Not only is she married to this year's Indy 500 winner, but she's obsessed with Kentucky basketball. She was on Jimmy Kimmel Live last week talking about Kentucky's recruiting class and how she tries to use her fame and influence to find out inside information from Kentucky's coaches about the players they are recruiting. And she wasn't kidding. She really knew her stuff. She's a constant fixture at the NCAA Tournament and Final Four when Kentucky makes it there and it's clear she's a big time fan.
Judd's also a humanitarian and is doing a lot of work to stomp out Malaria and other diseases in Africa. She wrote an op-ed about her work for CNN.com last month to promote "Malaria Awareness Day."
So now, if you are looking for a reason to watch next year's Indy 500, you can tune in to see if Mr. Ashley Judd, Dario Franchitti, can defend his crown, and to see how many times the ABC telecast shows Mrs. Judd on camera (I'm betting quite a bit).