Two of IndyCar’s top young stars got to see how their athleticism translated to the football field yesterday.
CFH Racing’s Josef Newgarden and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Sage Karam each went through a four-drill test at the NFL Scouting Combine, which takes place this week at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Both American drivers went through the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, and three-cone challenge.
So who won out between the pair? It turned out to be a tie, as each driver took two of the four drills. Here are the stats from IndyCar.com:
- 40-yard dash: Karam – 4.9 seconds … Newgarden – 5.0 seconds
- Broad jump: Karam – 8 feet, 9 inches … Newgarden – 8 feet, 11 inches
- Vertical jump: Karam – 22 inches … Newgarden – 24.5 inches
- Three-cone: Karam – 7.57 seconds … Newgarden – 7.7 seconds
“We were pretty competitive with each other,” said Karam, who will run the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with Ganassi on March 29. “I think it’s a driver mentality, you want to beat each other. We’re good friends, and we had a lot of fun with this.
“My favorite drill was the 40-yard dash because it’s just high intensity and it’s like five seconds as hard as you can go. I like the ones I beat Josef in.”
As for Newgarden, he felt that himself and Karam did well, even though they train for different fitness goals as drivers than NFL hopefuls do.
“NFL players train for short bursts of power; that’s specific to their sport,” said Newgarden. “For us as race car drivers, we train more so for muscular endurance. We need strength, but we need strength endurance … I think what we did probably show is that we do have athletic ability – it’s just not tuned for football. It’s tuned for driving race cars, which is so different.”
The two drivers also got to meet Patrick Peterson, Pro Bowl defensive back for the Arizona Cardinals. Afterwards on Twitter, Newgarden extended an invitation to him to come to a future IndyCar race, which Peterson accepted.