INDIANAPOLIS – With the sun beaming down at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, the Colts rookie class got a first hand look at everything that goes into Carb Day.
For nearly every rookie, Friday’s tour of IMS was their first experience at a racetrack, let alone one of the most iconic venues in all of sports.
The trip to the Speedway comes days after the rookies took in Game 1 of the Pacers/Heat series and is a part of several excursions the first-year professionals will make around Indianapolis over the next month.
“This is an opportunity for us to give our rookie class a chance to get their first look at what Indianapolis is all about, what we have to offer and anything we can do to make their transition go as smoothly as possible,” Colts Director of Player Engagement David Thornton said on Friday.
“The IMS is a big deal. It’s a big part of our culture, our community and we want our guys to know how important it is to give back, to serve and support our community.”
The rookies arrived to IMS at around 9:30 a.m. on Friday and wasted no time getting themselves on the track.
Each rookie rode around in a pace car and safe to say they were impressed in what they saw, and felt, around the 2.5-mile oval.
“That was probably the single best experience I’ve ever had in my life,” seventh-round pick
“It was crazy and apparently we were only going half the speed of what they actually do. It was pretty scary, especially when we came out of the turns and we got pretty close to the wall but it was a great experience.”
Getting up to around 130 miles per hour in such a short stretch made the hair on the neck of several rookies spike right up.
“The curves were definitely the craziest part,” inside linebacker
“You are holding your heart in your hands literally. It was a unique experience.”
Next up for the rookies was a trip to the pits where they met Josef Newgarden, who will start in the middle of the third row on Sunday.
A little further down pit road, the rookies were greeted by the team of pole sitter Ed Carpenter.
The rookies went into the Carpenter pit and got to see all the intricacies that go into producing the fastest car of 2014.
Redding enjoyed his time with Carpenter’s team but he knows trips like these help his real team come fall.
“These are the times why you win in September and October,” Redding said. “The moments of coming out here bonding with the guys, having a good time and experiencing things like this together, it’s something they will never forget and they can grow up and tell their kids one day that I’ve been to that track.
“The Colts are first class and it’s just unbelievable what they do with the rooks. I’m just happy to be down here with them.”
Just took a lap around #indymotorspeedway—
Seth Lobato(@Seth_Lobato) May 23, 2014
Indy 500 Pre Events are wild right now —
Dewey McDonald(@silverbck5) May 23, 2014