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Franchitti and Dixon advise Toyota Pro/Celebrity Drivers

April 17, 2013

IZOD IndyCar Series champions and Indianapolis 500 winners Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon have some advice for drivers in Saturday’s Toyota Pro/Celebrity race on the 11-corner, 1.97-mile Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach circuit.

In an open letter from the Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers to almost all of the drivers entered in the 10-lap smackdown (they forgot Olympian Tyler Clary, who’s a huge Indy car fan), Franchitti and Dixon chided the celebs, telling them they can’t just put on a fire suit and “slide into a race car for 10 adrenaline-pumping laps just like that.

“Not so fast,” they said, even as they dismissed actress Michelle Rodriguez, citing her skills in ‘The Fast and the Furious.’ Feel free to skip this; the rest of you, read every word,” said Dixie and Dario.

The first caveat given is to wear comfortable, casual clothes under their race suits. “Heels, yes even sneaker wedges would be tricky; we say go with closed-toe shoes,” the duo advises. “Know your car! Study up on the mechanical characteristics of the Scion FR-S. Even a little knowledge of the new chassis will improve your performance.” The FR-S is a rear-wheel-drive sports car, being used for the first time in this competition.

The third commandment is extremely important: “Do some leg presses. And by some, we mean a lot! Braking and steering a race car – the two biggest sustained functions during a race – is like doing leg reps while a hyper Rottweiler plays tug-of-war with your pant leg. You have to keep up the workout despite the crazy turbulence.”

Hmmm, both of these drivers have been seen with very small dogs like George and Arthur (Dixon) and Shug and Buttermilk (Franchitti). What would they know about hyper Rottweilers anyway? Leg presses, yeah, they know that…

“When you’re at the gym, don’t forget about your core. Core strength helps drivers stay in their seats when they’re going full throttle,” they said. Oh, and they also remind the celebrities to “practice your breathing. When you’re experiencing high g-forces, it can be really hard to breathe. It’s a total-body workout, both mentally and physically,” which is why Dario always wears those “breathe right” strips on his schnozz.

“Enjoy your time in the driver’s seat but don’t overdo it – stay safe and have fun.” Now that’s advice we can get behind. And the two Indy 500 winners’ seventh commandment is this: “Finally, if you win, just go ahead and pour the whole bottle of milk right over your head. Feels phenomenal, looks really cool.”

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Advice we can all ascribe to, don’t you think?

By Anne Proffit

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