Conor Daly and Alexander Rossi took advantage of the off weekend in the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule to get a behind the scenes look at a different form of motorsports.
The two Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidates were guests of the Honda HRC Supercross team for the Indianapolis round of the 2016 AMA Monster EnergySupercross on March 9 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“It’s was really cool to get a behind the scenes look,” said Daly, who considers himself a fan of the sport. “To get to go on the track – I’ve never done that before. It’s amazing to see all that goes into it and all the details behind the scenes with the team. I loved it. I really, really enjoyed it.”
Rossi, who had never attended a Supercross event prior to Saturday night, was equally impressed with the experience.
“It was definitely a learning experience for me,” he said. “Being on the track before the races was a highlight. You don’t even think about the stiffness of the dirt. It’s something that never even crossed my mind. To hear the guys talking about that and how the differences can affect your approach to the race was very interesting. It goes to show that it’s never as you think.”
The experience actually started the previous day as Honda 450 class factory rider Trey Canard and GEICO Honda 250 class rider (think Indy Lights to Verizon IndyCar Series) RJ Hampshire took on Rossi and Daly in a friendly go-kart challenge at K1 Speed in Fishers, Ind.
Canard , who finished fourth in the Supercross main event on Saturday night came away some bragging rights coming back from an early spin to get the win in the karting main event.
“I expected a lot more vertical to be going on,” Canard joked explaining why he started slowly. ”It’s not every day you get to race a go-kart with (Indy car) drivers. I had a good time and (Conor and Alexander) were nice to us and waited on us a bit in the race.
The INDYCAR drivers downplayed their loss, though, andrefused to admit they let their competition get the best of them.
“We wanted it to be competitive for the fans,” Daly said. “We’re all racers at heart, so we love going wheel-to-wheel and beat and bang when we can. Go-karting is always fun and to go against RJ and Trey was a lot of fun and not a lot of people can say they’ve been on a track with those guys.”
Added Rossi: “It was very cool to be on track with Trey and RJ and be part of the Honda family for the afternoon to mix two different versions of motorsports in one place. They did a pretty good job of beating us.”