INDIANAPOLIS — They may not have been flying around Indianapolis Motor Speedway at triple-digit speeds, but a group of IndyCar drivers were still working fast one recent afternoon.
IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Charlie Kimball, Ed Carpenter, Simona de Silvestro, Graham Rahal, and Simon Pagenaud, as well as Firestone Indy Lights driver Peter Dempsey and crew members, spent part of their afternoon last Thursday sorting donations at Gleaners Food Bank and serving clients in the organization's pantry.
"We keep fairly busy with things like this," said Rahal, noting IndyCar volunteers for other non-profits like Second Helpings. "Our foundation is all about giving back to the community. Being a resident of Indianapolis, that's important to me."
This was Rahal's first time at Gleaners. The IndyCar crew formed an assembly line to quickly sort food products into large bins.
"It's always cool to give back to the community," de Silvestro said. "Any way we can help is something I'm always up for."
An event like this also offers a refreshing change of pace for the race car drivers and their crew members.
"It's fun to just hang with some of the guys that you compete with every weekend," Rahal said. "Everybody's here working together. Racing's very close-knit. We all know each other through someone else. Even with NASCAR, if you don't know someone directly, there's always a connection."
De Silvestro agreed, saying it's nice to slow down and focus on something other than racing once in a while.
"We're so competitive that we hardly talk on race weekends," she said of herself and her fellow drivers. "Something like this allows us to interact and talk about other stuff."