050_RA0310 1/27/10 10:04 AM
50 MARCH 2010
051_RA0310 1/27/10 10:04 AM
TAGLIANI GOES FAZZT
Clawing his way back into Indy car racing became t was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson on the
second nature for Alex Tagliani, yet now he has a
chance so big he’d never have dared dream it.
I Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty and
the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking, “How did he know to put
the ‘pursuit’ part in there? That maybe happiness is something that we can only
By David Malsher pursue and maybe we can actually never have it, no matter what. How did he
Main Image Steve Swope Photography So muses Chris Gardner, played by Will Smith, in the 2006
movie The Pursuit of Happyness. I have no answer to his question, but
the third or fourth time I watched the film, I was able to see past
the soul-stirring resonance it had for parents and started to
identify acquaintances who are on this pursuit every single day.
Alex Tagliani was near the top of my list. In his career, he went
to the point of despair and returned so many times he got
frequent flyer miles. But between those two points there was
constant – truly constant – hard work that resulted in fleeting
hours of reasonable contentment. These led to his belief that,
yeah, one day when one of the mirages he’s been chasing turned
out to be real, he’d find happiness.
The all-new FAZZT team could prove to be the culmination of
Tagliani’s pursuit. FAZZT is an ugly name to pronounce, but the
reality seems almost too good to be true. Indy car start-up teams
usually, inevitably, have question marks hanging over them, but
there are far fewer here: It’s not hyperbole for Tagliani to describe
this as “an unreal opportunity.” It’s also unreal how quickly it came
about, from its first faltering steps last summer when Tagliani
optimistically set up a meeting between Canadian entrepreneur
Andre Azzi (a friend of a friend) and Conquest Racing owner Eric
Bachelart, with whom Alex had been driving part-time.