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“Helio’s just been telling me how to get around this place, what to expect, the line to run, just to respect the place, everything about this place and what it means and what he went through,” a grateful Allmendinger said. “He could have easily just went and drove the car and said it’s fine and walked away and focused on his program. But he’s here, talking to me and we’re back in the pits and he’s showing me and teaching me and talking to me.”

While Castroneves’ advice helped Allmendinger figure out the track more quickly, it didn’t ease his nerves.

That only comes with experience, so the man who grew up dreaming of the day he would drive an open-wheel car around the speedway in May kept looking for ways to settle down even if it meant eating more comfort food.

“I’ll be honest with you, going down that last straightaway, they kept telling me to take it all in, so when I was trying to take it all in and not scare myself to death, when I went down the back straightaway the first time, I was like, `Alright this is pretty sweet, driving a Penske car down the back straightaway in Indy,’” Allmendinger said. “That was an awesome feeling.”