Tuesday night, as I was wrapping up my day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Kate Guerra from the IZOD IndyCar Series public relations department stopped by where I sit in the media center.
Kate and I get along great, except for one day out of the year as she is from Texas and is a University of Texas graduate and I like to remind her that real football is played north of the Red River in Norman, Okla.
So, a good friendly rivalry exists between us for one day in October, but she's great in working with me in getting interviews for my IndyCar podcast for drivers who are on the Pro Mazda Road to Indy.
She asked me if I was going to be at the track on Wednesday around 8:45 a.m., and I said yes.
I was thinking that she was looking to set up some driver interviews. Instead, she told me that the PR department, led by Amy Konrath, the only female open-wheel PR director for a major North American racing series, had arranged for me to get a ride in the new DW12 chassis car through the IndyCar Racing Experience.
Two years ago, I was given a ride at the speedway by Al Unser Jr. in the old Indy car and that was 72 hours after I went around the Indiana State Fairgrounds in a two-seat non-wing sprint car with Jack Hewitt.
I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get a ride in the new car.
I wasn't sure who was driving the car as Mario Andretti is usually at the controls for the Honda's Fastest Seat in Sports Sweepstakes winner that occurs at each IndyCar Series race.
So when I got to the hauler at the end of pit road to get my fire suit, yes, you guessed it, there was Mario putting tear-offs on his helmet.