IRL Drivers participate in Ball State-Miami football game activities IndyCar Series drivers Graham Rahal and Will Power and Firestone Indy Lights driver Travis Gregg traveled to Oxford, Ohio, Nov. 11 to participate in an array of IndyCar Series promotions surrounding Miami’s nationally-televised football game against undefeated and nationally ranked Ball State University.
The trio participated in a pre-game autograph session and an on-field gift exchange, presenting school officials with specially designed Miami race helmets and receiving football jerseys in return. In addition, the IndyCar Series street-legal two seater spent the day traveling around campus with Miami coaches taking rides and passing out hats and flyers to promote the game. The two-seater and another show car were also on display nearby as fans entered the stadium.
Rahal, a native of New Albany, Ohio, is a big fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes, but as an Ohio native, he came to root for the underdog Redhawks.
“Ball State has done pretty well this year, so it will be interesting to see just how good they are,” Rahal said during pre-game festivities in Miami’s Tailgate Town. “I’ve got a lot of friends from up where I live that go to school down here, so you just want to see Ohio schools do well.”
Gregg, a 2000 graduate of Miami University and three-time race winner in Firestone Indy Lights, was excited to be back on campus.
“Miami was a big part of my life during those four years that I went to school here, so it’s always good to come back and sort of re-live those days,” Gregg said, shortly before kickoff. “I got to see (former Miami quarterback) Ben Roethlisberger play, and coming back here, especially tonight with the IndyCar Series, it’s pretty special being a Miami alumnus and an Indy Lights driver. It’s cool to see them both come together.”
Power, a native Australian currently living in the Indianapolis area, learned American football by watching the Indianapolis Colts.
“I love rugby league in Australia, but I get into the sports scene in whatever country I live in,” Power said. “I lived in England for a while, so I got into soccer there, and now that I’m living here, I’m getting into the American sports. When the (Indianapolis) Colts won the Super Bowl, I started getting into it a little bit more, and I understand the game now, so I can enjoy it.”