NFL star shows up to training camp in race car

ANDERSON, Ind. – The undeniable sound of power and speed heralded Reggie Wayne's latest audacious arrival to training camp ...and his return to the Indianapolis Colts offense.

Vroooom! Vroooom!

Sitting in the backseat of an Indy Racing Experience two-seat IndyCar and escorted by veteran driver Ed Carpenter, Wayne one-upped himself as players reported to Anderson University on Wednesday.

After Carpenter, an unabashed Colts fan and season-ticket holder, jerked his IndyCar to a stop, Wayne pulled himself out of his tight quarters, yanked off his Colts-themed racing helmet and smiled.

"I want one of these," he said, scanning his ride. "I don't know how I'm going to get one.

"I'm a guy that likes speed and this is one way to get that speed in me. I enjoyed every bit of it."

In previous summers, Wayne caused a stir by arriving to camp in an IU Health helicopter, a military Humvee and a construction truck.

"This is my favorite camp arrival,'' Wayne said. "I enjoyed it.''

When IndyCar learned of Wayne's penchant for flashy entrances, it contacted the Colts and floated the idea of the two-seater being used.

"We finally heard back from them a couple of weeks ago," said IndyCar communications director Mike Kitchel. "We were all for it. The Indianapolis 500 and the Verizon IndyCar Series are the fabric of Indianapolis. We're all big Colts fans and Reggie is an institution in our town.

"It came together pretty quickly. We knew Ed was as big a Colts fan as we have."

Carpenter and his IndyCar team met Wayne at the I-69/Scatterfield Road exit. Their five-mile "race" to campus created a buzz as Carpenter's heavy foot between red lights resulted in a few burnouts and fishtails on the wet pavement.

"We had quite a ride," he said. "I think we made it through a couple of green lights but we hit a lot of red lights. I tried to do some burnouts in between (lights). We had to stop and wave at people.

"I've driven on plenty of city streets since we street race, but never without barriers around or in a closed circuit. It was kind of awkward passing people and being next to people at a stoplight. But it was pretty cool."

Wayne settled on his IndyCar ride when "Plan A got shot down," he admitted. "I will not say (what that was). Maybe I'll be able to do it another time."

That's not to say Carpenter and IndyCar weren't an appropriate fall-back plan. It made sense on several levels.

"I think it's a sign for the Colts as a team," Wayne sayd. "We need to come out fast. We need a sense of urgency. We need to come out moving with some speed."

Wayne was asked if arriving in an IndyCar was a sign he's got his "wheels" back. The six-time Pro Bowl selection missed the final nine games of 2013 after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Oct. 20 against Denver.

"I guess you can look at it that way," he said. "I do feel fast. I do feel good.

"Hopefully I can go out there tomorrow and pick up where I left off."


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