Women of Indianapolis print, television, radio and online media got a special surprise when they showed up at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for their Indy Racing Experience two-seater ride. To prepare them for the moment, the four Chip Ganassi IZOD IndyCar Series drivers showed up to do some “coaching” for the participants.
After the initial squeal of delight (which no one would admit to when I asked who screeched), the ladies were divided into four groups, one for each driver. There was a long line for rides, so they got some one-on-one time with their new mentors to calm their nerves before zooming around the track in the hands of Indy car great Mario Andretti and former Indy Lights driver Logan Gomez.
Scott Dixon, who was assigned to the WRTV-6 ABC group, was asked about practice so far at IMS, what his favorite track was (Watkins Glen) and was prodded to convince Mario Andretti to boost up the speed a bit for the ladies’ first ride. Following that, all four drivers did an on-camera interview … as the reporter.
“You think I’m good enough to take over AC’s (Anthony Calhoun, Sports Director of WISH-TV) job?” Grahal Rahal asked the reporters of the CBS affiliate.
My opinion at the end of the process was that all four drivers have promising futures in driver coaching. Watching them call the team around for a conference with the same very pointed hand gestures and stroking-of-the-chins usually done by engineers came very naturally, but I’ll be happier if these guys stay behind the wheel for many more years to come before I have to get used to that transition.