The Kentucky Derby always attracts a variety of famous guests, including actors and actresses, musicians and athletes from every sport. One such guest at this year’s Derby competes in a different form of racing.
2017 NTT IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden and fiancé Ashley Welch attended their first Derby today, and NBC Sports’s Rutledge Wood and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were on hand to ask Newgarden and Welch about their first Derby experience.
“I’m impressed! This is like a little mini Indianapolis 500,” Newgarden told Wood.
“It’s a smaller space, so they have to jam everyone in. It’s incredible.”
Newgarden will soon begin the Month of May at Indianapolis, which includes the IndyCar Grand Prix next Saturday, May 11th and then the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 26th – both on NBC.
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IndyCar driver Conor Daly posted a poignant tribute to Chris Beaty, a former Indiana University football player and Indianapolis business owner who was killed Saturday amid protests and rioting in the city.
Daly said he got to know Beaty, who owned an event and marketing promotions company, five years ago when he was organizing Indianapolis 500 afterparties.
Daly annually had been involved in Beaty’s parties since then and said Beaty helped get him home earlier this year when Daly’s blood sugar crashed while at an event.
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“The world lost a tremendous person. RIP Chris Beaty,” wrote Daly, who also tweeted “The violence has to stop.”
According to the Indianapolis Star, Beaty died after suffering multiple gunshot wounds during Saturday night’s unrest in downtown Indianapolis. It’s unclear if the shooting was tied to the protests.
Graham Rahal also posted about his interaction with Beaty.
Daly, Rahal and the rest of the IndyCar Series will return to action Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway (8 p.m. ET, NBC).