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IndyCar Week kicks off with racing festivities along Central Coast

SALINAS, Calif. (KION) - The green flag in the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey will wave on Sunday, but the Central Coast is already gearing up with an action-packed week ahead of the race.

Organizers estimate more than 1,000 fans ventured out to the Salinas Street Fest which officially kicked off race week Thursday. IndyCar drivers like Pato O'Ward, Alexander Rossi, and Colton Herta made an appearance, greeting fans and signing autographs.

"This is kind of a semi-home race for me," Rossi said. "I'm from Northern California so we love coming here. It's an amazing racetrack, an amazing part of the world. Fan turnout is fantastic."

Earlier in the day, driver Scott Dixon and Bay FC goalie Lysianne Proulx got a head start on the fun, competing in a skills challenge after the soccer club's training session.

"I think it was really good to have him here," Proulx said. "To talk about something different, that we don't really get to see the background of what's happening all the time."

Dixon addressed the team and answered some questions before going head-to-head with Proulx.

"The sports couldn't be further apart in what you actually do," Dixon said. "But the similarities of any top-level sport are very similar. The processes are really quite similar."

Regarding the reflexes challenge, both competitors agreed that Proulx was the victor.

After Thursday's festivities, all eyes shift to the racetrack as drivers will begin practicing Friday and Saturday, ahead of the Firestone Grand Prix on Sunday.

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Maxwell Glenn

Sports Director for KION News Channel 46


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