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Andrew Luck, Colts show up at Indy track

- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 15, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indianapolis Colts quarterbacks were a bit late for their visit to Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Blame Matt Hasselbeck.

The "follicly challenged" veteran had to make his own pit stop for a bottle of sunscreen on a sunny day at the track.

"You brought the right downforce level to Indianapolis Motor Speedway," Chip Ganassi driver Charlie Kimball joked. "This is the place we run the lowest downforce. You want to be slippery."

Hasselbeck, Andrew Luck, Chandler Harnish and receiver Griff Whalen were invited by Kimball to tour the facilities Wednesday, get a behind-the-scenes look at the No. 83 garage and visit pit lane. Luck was still completing classes at Stanford last year and making the transition to the Colts. This was his first true experience of May in Indianapolis.

"As a sports fan, it's awesome to see a spectacle like this, a stadium like this," Luck said. "To see how different athletes and how they operate. How a race car team operates as compared to a football team. (I have) and incredibly high admiration. I don't even want to know what it feels like to go 200 mph."

Kimball broke in: "Fun is the answer. Fun."

Hasselbeck was most interested to learn the inner workings of the sport and, specifically, the communication between the driver and spotter though the helmet.

"As quarterbacks, that's one thing that we have," Hasselbeck said. "We're really reliant on the coach-quarterback system - who talks into your helmet. You're trying to do your job, but you really need that person in your ear a little bit. Not too much, just enough."

"We have a microphone, so we can talk back," Kimball said.

"It's probably good that we don't," Hasselbeck replied.

The foursome held their media availability before the tour, so they weren't able to give their impressions or describe the experience. But Luck explained that it took less than a year to learn what the venue and the Indianapolis 500 mean to the area.

"Every day you realize more and more how important the IMS is to this city," Luck said. "And how important the whole sports culture - how great the Pacers are doing, us having a fairly successful season last year. The great events that go on here. The great drivers, the racing culture, a lot of the drivers that live in town - how much it means to the city. How much pride the citizens of greater Indianapolis take in it. It really helps further this city's great identity."

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