Let’s talk about a silly thing that happened this week…some of Indy’s greatest taking their skills from the track…to Ninja training?
The line-up of Indy drivers competing in the Ninja Warrior event already was an interesting start featuring Tony Kanaan, 41; Helio Castroneves, 41; and 25-year-old Josef Newgarden (mind you this event occurred well-before that terrifying crash with Connor Daly that took him out of the race in Texas last weekend). Kanaan didn’t make it nearly as far as I would have thought, defeated in the second obstacle. Newgarden’s progress wasn’t much further, stopped short at the third obstacle (the Fly Wheels if you were viewing as well).
To be fair, Castroneves’ progress wasn’t the best either, as he made it as far as Newgarden did in the course. However, he made it incredibly endearing as he danced around and made overwhelmingly joyous faces to the crowd. For being one of the older competitors of the day (and yet still a few months younger than Kanaan), he managed to put on a show.
What I found most fascinating about the entire spectacle, was actually seeing the drivers a little outside of their element–especially in this case with testing their athletic abilities on a course like American Ninja Warrior. A driver, like these guys, has to train several hours a week to ensure they have the physical strength and endurance just to operate their vehicles in the speeds and forces unimaginable for us everyday folks who merely drive our cars a measly 70mph on the expressway, if we’re lucky. And although not one of those guys made it to the end of the course, they still proved to be more athletic than most of us could hope to be, and it was darn impressive. All-the-while, every single one of them was absolutely charming when interviewed (probably why they were selected to compete–fierce competitors, but charming…).
Props to you gentlemen, for taking on the NINJA course. Now to see these guys win a race or two in the latter half of the Indy season, as they return to their true element, beginning next weekend in Wisconsin.