ANDERSON –The sounds had the feelings like you were standing at 16th and Georgetown during late May.
But there was no 2.5 mile oval or a yard of bricks in sight.
No, this was just
In charge of carrying the precious Colts cargo was Ed Carpenter, the Butler University product who has been the pole sitter at the last two Indy 500s.
Wayne called it his favorite training camp entrance, high praise considering his past history in arriving to Anderson/Terre Haute.
“I enjoyed every single bit of that,” an elated Wayne said fresh out of the car.
“I’m a guy that likes speed and this is one way to get that into you.”
Carpenter and Wayne’s entrance to Anderson University revved up as they departed from 59th street, about five miles south of campus, near the I-69 interstate.
Colts players and coaches couldn’t help but glance over at Wayne and Carpenter as they headed out for their conditioning tests.
While Wayne has been a fan favorite of Colts fans for years (just take a look at the north end zone of Lucas Oil Stadium when Wayne runs out of the tunnel), Carpenter, himself, has had the home crowd roaring for him each May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
For a guy that has called Indianapolis home since his elementary days, it was a thrill for Carpenter to play a part in Wayne’s “best” entrance.
“I didn’t hear about (the idea) that long ago but immediately said, ‘Yes’. It was something that I for sure wanted to do,” Carpenter, who was joined by his family, said of taking Wayne down the streets of Anderson.
“I think the best part is just stopping next to people at stop lights and seeing their face and reactions to having an IndyCar at a red light next to them. Everyone is fumbling around trying to get their cameras out.”
Like has been the case with Wayne’s unique arrivals to training camp, there was a seasonal message behind the entrance.
“It’s a sign for the Colts. We need to come out fast. We need to have a sense of urgency. We need to come out moving with some speed. This is one way of entering camp with the motto for the team,” the 35-year-old Wayne said.
For the first time in his 14 previous NFL seasons, there’s physical uncertainty with Wayne.
He’s coming off an ACL injury that cut his 2013 season in half.
By all accounts, Wayne’s rehab has been steadily ahead of schedule and now the question becomes when will 87 return to a stage he’s thrived on for nearly a decade and a half.
“I’m eager to get out and pick up where I left off,” the six-time Pro Bowler said.
“I’ve been cleared. I am ready to go…We will just see from that point on.”