Indiana dairy farmers again this year honored the rookie drivers of the Indianapolis 500 at the 41st annual Fastest Rookie Luncheon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There are just two rookies slated to start Sunday’s race, Stefano Coletti from Monaco and Gabby Chavez from Colombia. Chavez is the fastest of the two, and like veteran milkman Alan Wright, a 4th generation dairyman, racing has been handed down through the generations.
“It all started with my grandpa,” he told HAT. “It went down through my uncle, my mom, my aunt, everyone in my family from my mom’s side was a racer and it’s just a huge motorsports family and huge fans as well. It’s just almost a way of life. It’s what I grew up with since I grew up driving electric cars and playing with toy cars all day. The very first day I was able to get in a go-kart I just fell in love with the driving.”
How sweet would victory circle and the milk be at Indy?
“It would be the best bottle of milk I ever drank, that’s for sure, and I think we have good odds,” Chavez said. “I’m very confident and very comfortable with the way the car has been handling. The team has been doing a great job, we’ve got a great race car, I’m confident in my abilities and I’m confident in what the car can do for us.”
Chavez told the Tuesday crowd that he loves milk and drinks it every morning. He will drive the #98 Honda Sunday from the middle of Row 10. Chavez won the Indy Lights Freedom 100 at the track last year in a spectacular finish.
“I’ve watched this race almost every year since I was a kid because it’s like a big motorsports day in the world. You have the Monaco Grand Prix in the afternoon back in Europe and when you come back from that race you just switch on the TV and watch the Indianapolis 500. So I’ve always been watching it and it’s always been amazing to see this kind of race, and I hope I’m going to taste some milk some day.”
The Indy 500 will be Coletti’s first race on an oval track. He starts from the inside of Row 11 in the #4 Chevrolet. And milkman Wright will hand a bottle of milk, courtesy of American Dairy Association, Indiana to the winning driver at the end of the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500.
There’s HAT video with Chavez and Coletti. Tap Web to see it.