IRL: Indy 500: Max Papis Saturday pre-race notes

Saturday at Indy with Max Max and the rest of the drivers have a busy Saturday preparing for the 90th running of the Indy 500 Even though Saturday was a day at the Speedway where the cars stayed silent, Max Papis and the other the drivers...

Saturday at Indy with Max

Max and the rest of the drivers have a busy Saturday preparing for the 90th running of the Indy 500

Even though Saturday was a day at the Speedway where the cars stayed silent, Max Papis and the other the drivers ended up being very busy.

The day's activities began at the track at 8:30 a.m. with Max and the others posing for a photo with champion cyclist Lance Armstrong. Max is an avid cyclist and counts Armstrong as one of his hero's.

Next up was an autograph session at the circuit's Pagoda Pavilion. Thousands of fans lined up to have their favorite drivers autograph items such as programs, cards, shirts and die-cast cars.

At 11:00 a.m. the 33 starters were present for the Public Drivers meeting held in pit lane. Awards were given out. The fans were able to see everyone together without helmets, and cheered for their favorite drivers throughout the meeting, which lasted an hour.

Upon completion of the public meeting, buses whisked the drivers to downtown Indianapolis for the Festival Parade. This annual event features more than 80 floats, marching bands and celebrities. Over 200,000 thousand fans were present.

The day ended back at the Speedway where Max participated in a tour of his garage and car for his sponsors, Sport Clips. At 4:00 p.m. Max headed back to his hotel to rest for the big day.

Max' Saturday Comments Today was a very full day, and I never once got into my car! People who know me know that I love cycling and bicycle racing. I use bicycles as part of my regular fitness routine. So it was no surprise to know that I was excited to finally meet Lance Armstrong. I really hold him in the highest regard because he is one of the best to have ever competed in one of the toughest sports there is. He is a hero to me. We were able to have a little chat before we got to the business of the photo shoot.

During the autograph session I was able to meet many of my fans. It was hot for all of us. I kept drinking water and signing. I will really try my best for them on Sunday.

The parade downtown was fantastic. I won't forget it for a long time. There were hundreds of thousands of fans cheering for Mad Max and all of the rest of the drivers.

On the technical side of things I spent time with my engineer going over the complete strategy for the whole race. So the car is ready. I am ready.

Sunday we all meet at Eddie Cheever's shop at 8:00 a.m. and drive to the track with a police escort. I'll be ready to do my best. For my country, my fans, my sponsors, and my team.

I might even have a bit of an unfair advantage. The other day I got my "low downforce" haircut at Sport Clips.

Max Papis is one of the few drivers who competes in different types of racing cars. This year he has already driven in the Daytona 24 hour endurance race, the 12 hours of Sebring and after the Indy 500 he will compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in July. He rounds everything out with a regular drive in the International Race of Champions (IROC) and testing with the Hendrick Motorsports Nextel Cup team.

The Cheever Racing #52 Dallara / Honda is sponsored by Sport Clips. Sport Clips, Inc. is a Georgetown, TX-based enterprise that currently has 330 stores in 28 states. Targeting men and boys, Sport Clips provides high-quality haircuts in a fun sports environment, complete with TVs at every Stylist's station tuned to sports. Every Sport Clips has "guy smart" Stylists who focus on providing the highest level of service to every client.

-maxpapis.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Max Papis
Teams Hendrick Motorsports