This is the Statt Mann Baby. It's time to Scatt a little bit.

I’ve been around racing and racers most of my life. And there’s common ground under all of them. They all grope around in the dark before they find the switch, turn on the light and get on with their success.
Of course the groping is longer for some. And some never find the switch. Still, I love the stories of the search.

Three years ago Ryan Hunter-Reay was barely in open-wheel racing. Few took him seriously. I’m not positive he did. He was still in his grope stage.

But now the light is on and he’s the 2012 Indy Car champion. He’ll have rides for years behind what he accomplished at Fontana Saturday night. And he’ll deserve them.

What’s amusing is all the so-called observers who ignored him when he was groping around looking for the switch. The front runners jumping on the closest bandwagon normally ignore the truth.

To mangle a couple metaphors: They’re usually too busy running for a seat on the bandwagon that they haven’t recognized the music has stopped.

I hope Ryan Hunter-Reay recognizes the unique position he’s in and how hard it was to get there. Championships are hard to get. You don’t win them by luck. Let’s hope Ryan remembers the commitment necessary and can duplicate the effort even if he never wins another title.

Keep battling Ryan. You deserve this.