Andrew Luck to IMS PA: I think drivers are athletes

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The social media firestorm around Donovan McNabb’s comments saying, in his opinion, drivers aren’t athletes took over the sports blogosphere from last November.

Luckily for the racing world, Andrew Luck doesn’t agree.

“I think they are (athletes),” Luck responded to an Indianapolis Motor Speedway PA announcer’s question during the rain delay of Friday’s “Fast Friday” practice for the Indianapolis 500. “You see what they do behind the wheel and to prep for it, there’s no question to me.”

Perhaps this was a case of Luck playing nice to the local crowd – he is one of the city of Indianapolis’ most beloved athletes – but more likely it was a case of “he knows of what he speaks.”

Luck took in practice at last year’s Indianapolis 500 as well, as a guest of Charlie Kimball and the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team. So he has first hand experience of seeing the Verizon IndyCar Series up close and personal.

Said Kimball, last year, of Luck’s visit: “I wanted them to come see my office, because in the winter, it’s easy to turn on the TV and see these guys go to work on Sundays. I wanted to give them the opportunity see what I think is the greatest sporting venue in the world – the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and see us turn laps at 215, 220 mph and give them the full Indianapolis experience.”

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
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INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)