Indianapolis and the month of May can only mean one thing--racing! The Child Life Zone at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health hosted the annual “Indy 500 Party” the week before qualifications, and the driver turnout was tremendous! Eight drivers from the field of 33 took time to autograph hero cards, design their own race cars with patients, and even compete for air hockey bragging rights.
One driver found himself wanting more after the party was over. Alexander Rossi, Indy 500 rookie driver for Andretti Autosport, requested a special one-on-one interview with Layden, a patient he met during the party. The interview, which was recorded in the Child Life Zone for KIDS-TV5, took place the Wednesday before 100th running of the Indy 500. During the interview, Layden and Rossi discussed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Layden’s new personalized Pit Crew shirt, and some of their favorites. Here's the conversation that took place when Rossi asked Layden, his newest pit crew member, if he had any racing advice for him:
Layden: Push the pedal and go faster and faster.
Rossi: Anything else?
Layden: Hmm…Get some gas.
Rossi: Good. I’ll make sure to tell people to do that.
Rossi later went on to win the Indianapolis 500, the first rookie to do so since 2001. He did this stunning fashion, utilizing a fuel strategy that drove him to coast on fumes to the checkered flag at the Brickyard finish line. Sounds like he took Layden's advice!