ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin – Verizon IndyCar Series driver Will Power and Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Hundley both make fast, precise passing their life’s work. This weekend at Road America, they are comparing notes.
Hundley and Power met for the first time today when Hundley began a VIP immersion experience at the KOHLER Grand Prix. First, the quarterback took the ride of a lifetime with racing legend Mario Andretti. Afterward, he got in some football passing practice with a Chevrolet Corvette pace car.
The day began with a tour of Team Penske’s garage, led by Power, driver of the team’s No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet. The two-lap thrill ride around the road course in the INDYCAR Experience two-seat race car, with Andretti at the wheel, followed.
In the middle of it all, Power and Hundley gave a nod to the Green Bay tradition of riding young Packer fans’ bicycles to training camp when they pedaled the bikes of two young racing fans to the track.
“He’s trying to relate it to what he does,” Power said of Hundley. “I always enjoy seeing someone get in a racing car as a passenger for the first time – see their face for the first time when they get out.”
Hundley emerged from the two-seat Indy car smiling and cheering.
“Let’s go, Round 2!” he said.
Round 2 will be Sunday, when Hundley returns for the 55-lap race on the iconic 4.014-mile permanent road course in the Kettle Moraine area of Wisconsin.
“It is an awesome experience for me to get a taste of Indy,” Hundley said. “I’ve got much respect for the racers after driving around in a car with Mario Andretti. I can’t wait to watch it!”
Before heading home today, Hundley schooled Power on the precision of an NFL quarterback’s throwing arm. Asked if he could pinpoint a football through the window of a moving Corvette, Hundley never questioned it.
It took a number of attempts to make good on the promise, but Hundley did fire a 40-yard bullet through the open window of the moving pace car.
“To line up all that as the car is driving past and to get it in the window – good job, man!” said Power.
Hundley cheered, too.
“I can’t believe I just made it in the window of a moving Corvette,” he said. “You can’t beat that!”
Bill Swoboda, the driver of the pace car, was equally happy. Outfitted in a helmet for safety, the Road America driving and motorcycle school instructor was untouched when Hundley’s football landed squarely in the Corvette’s passenger seat.
“I was a pace car receiver, trying to catch the ball, and we did it,” Swoboda said. “I knew I was going to get pegged off but as it turned out, the way the ball landed, it hit the left side of the seat, bounced and landed right on the seat. Never even touched me. I love him! He’s awesome!”
Power is ready to show Hundley the main event in three days.
“It will be a really fun day on Sunday,” said Power, the defending KOHLER Grand Prix winner.
“I can just imagine what it’s like when there are cars next to you, racing,” said Hundley. “I want to get in the car and start driving, but I know I’d probably end up in the fence. I’ll just stick to football.”