INDIANAPOLIS – Alex Zanardi received a hero's welcome at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, the famed race track where he never turned a single lap.
Zanardi lost both of his legs in a 2001 crash during a CART race in Germany, but has taken up hand cycling and won three gold medals in the London Paralympic Games last summer.
The Italian driver was feted by former team owner Chip Ganassi, who presented him with the car Zanardi was driving in 1996 when he made a legendary pass of Bryan Herta at Laguna Seca. Ganassi grew teary-eyed during the presentation as he listened to Zanardi speak.
Zanardi didn't totally dismiss the idea of driving at Indy someday. He uses prosthetic legs to walk, and would need a car with hand paddles to compete.