Chuck Pagano takes a ride at Indianapolis Speedway

  • Joe Ray

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano has had quite the turbulent season. After starting his first season as Colts head coach, Pagano was diagnosed with a treatable form of leukemia. The Colts team and Indianapolis community rallied behind Pagano, starting the CHUCKSTRONG campaign to support the coach’s recovery. On the field, the team shocked the football world by going 11-5 behind rookie quarterback Andrew Luck and earning a playoff berth a year after going 2-14.

If this past season was any sort of a wild ride for Pagano, today’s events had to be a piece of cake in comparison. At today’s Pole Day events in preparation for the Indianapolis 500, Pagano got the chance to take two laps around the 2.5-mile track as a passenger of Mario Andretti, winner of the 1969 Indy 500 race. The experience was a truly unique one that Pagano surely will never forget, according to Larry Hawley of Fox 59 Indianapolis.

“It’s one of those bucket list deals you check off,” said Colts head coach Chuck Pagano of his day on Saturday in Speedway. “It’s one of those things you’d never thought you would have a chance to do.”

Pagano was thrilled at the opportunity to take a ride on one of the greatest racing tracks in the whole sports, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“Unbelievable, exhilarating,” said Pagano of the ride. “The speeds, the excitement of sitting behind Mario Andretti, the all-time great. It was just fabulous.”

Following an excruciating recovery from leukemia, Pagano surely enjoyed this ride for the ages. His next big ride starts September 8th, when the Colts open their regular season at home against the Oakland Raiders.

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Down and Distance Columnist Joe Ray – @jpray_SK

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