Sometimes players show up to training camp in style – think Willie “Mays” Hayes in Major League for instance – and Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne was an individual that did so today.
Wayne, who’s coming off an ACL injury that hampered his 2013 campaign, showed up to Colts training camp Wednesday in the back of a two-seater IndyCar driven by Ed Carpenter, a Butler graduate and devout Colts fan whose race team has won three Verizon IndyCar Series races this season.
“I want one of these,” Wayne said after climbing out of the back seat of the car, which typically gives rides at Verizon IndyCar Series racing venues. “I enjoyed every little bit of that. It was fun. I’m a guy that likes speed, which is one way to get that speed in me.”
Added Carpenter, “I feel privileged and honored to be asked to bring Reggie. At first I was kind of hoping we had a police escort so we didn’t have to stop at lights. It was kind of cool stopping at lights and being parked next to people. I think people figured it out pretty quick. I think (Reggie’s) helmet was a dead giveaway. We had quite a ride.”
Here’s to hoping there’s some feel-good mojo that comes off Wayne arriving in an IndyCar with the team owner of the guy who won the most recent IndyCar race – Carpenter’s Mike Conway won in Toronto on Sunday.
Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.
Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.
Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.
A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.
A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.
Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.