Baseball star Petrocelli impressed with IndyCars Rico Petrocelli says he purchased a Corvette with part of the bonus money he received from the Boston Red Sox back in the day and opened it up to 110 mph on the highway.
It was the fastest he had traveled in a car until Aug. 14 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway when he took a ride in an Indy Racing Experience two-seater with Al Unser Jr. behind the wheel.
"Almost as fast as a Nolan Ryan fastball," said Petrocelli, a Red Sox All-Star infielder from 1963-76 who spoke in chapel services before the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225. "I played in two World Series and that two-seat ride was more fun."
Petrocelli also toured the garages following the morning warm-up session.
"When I saw the Indy cars, I said 'Wow,' he said. "It was a thrill for me to come out here today. I got to see some of what's involved with these cars and it's incredible. The speed, the preparation, the focus you need. A lot of athletes from other sports used to ask me what it's like to play in the major leagues. We feel the same way about the other sports.
"They need hand-eye coordination, stamina and strength, and it takes love of the sport and what you're doing. In baseball, you know you could get hit in the head but you love it so much you do it. These drivers love what they're doing and they know the dangers. Their focus is on winning the race."
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