Dixon impressed by Alonso at Indy

He did, but wasn't so impressed with his qualifying performance. They know you are on quick lap. But he thinks he's done everything possible to prepare for the race, and even spent time Thursday on a simulator. For the past few decades he's been coaching professional drivers.

The McLaren Formula 1 driver is missing the Monaco Grand Prix to race in the U.S. and has qualified fifth on the grid. At last count he gets about 30 calls a week for only five days of tuition.

He crashed early in practice because of a steering problem, later blew an engine and wound up qualifying 27th, the outside of Row 9.

One seat over from Alonso during the media session sat Tony Kanaan, a 20-year veteran, series champion and former Indy 500 victor. I know that this is a race that everyone has a chance to win. Marco comes over and does his time and his other team-mates have been as well.

"It's certainly not the first Formula One driver to compete at the Indianapolis 500 but it's been a while since we had a Formula One champion here, so he's definitely welcome with open arms and I'm happy that he is with my son's team. That's why I think everything's gone so well, is everyone has played their part". And it just shows the relevance not just of IndyCar but of the Indianapolis 500 and how important this championship is and this race is and it's been really cool to see how quickly it's grown. "The emotions you get here are insane".

"I want to live the moment, I want to live the experience", said the two-time F1 world champion. Whether he can use that in a race, that's another thing.

"Turn Three heading into Casino is a lot of fun as well". You can quickly find yourself moving back.

Media interviews with top F1 drivers sometimes have to be scheduled months in advance - if they happen at all. He's one of those sorts of drivers. I don't think we've sacrificed that much because we're here to win races and Jenson was on it right away. "He just has a feel for the surface".

"Obviously, I'm glad they're OK", Kanaan said. It's all completely about setup.

"Indy's not really been something that I've thought about". I drove an AJ Foyt auto, it went round at 224mph and it was easy.

The New York Times labeled him "The New Face of IndyCar Racing" in 2015, just days before he wrecked at Pocono Raceway and debris from his vehicle struck and killed Justin Wilson. If it doesn't work, it's the most frightening thing in the world. Herta's experience helped Rossi nurse his last full tank of fuel 36 laps to the end - the last two laps with 0.65-gallons of methanol in the tank - before running out at the end. You'd look at the speedo on the dash as you exit turn four and you'd know you had to read at least 213 miles per hour to make it a good lap. "But then you hit the corner and you see the rpm lights cranked up on the dashboard and your survival instinct kicks in". Your perspective of what's fast changes.

In the year since, Rossi alternately defends his Indy victory as no fluke, while educating race fans about himself. It could do, but so much depends on the auto. Cross of the second leg of racing's triple crown.

  • Julie Sanders