Pena enjoys getting up close at Indianapolis 500

  • Associated Press
  • May 26, 2013 - 12:04 PM

INDIANAPOLIS - Actor Michael Pena got his first look at the Indianapolis 500, two days after the movie "Turbo" premiered in Indianapolis.

Pena was the honorary starter for the 97th running of the race, waving the green flag as the drivers entered the first lap. Pena plans to make Indy a regular trip.

"I brought three friends from L.A. and I'm like, `Dude, we have to come back every year,' because it's just fun," Pena said before the race. "You can just go out and get a corndog or something, watch some of the cars go by. It's unbelievable. I don't think TV does it justice with just how fast these cars really go."

Auto racing wasn't necessarily a hobby for Pena until his work with "Turbo." In the animated film, he portrays Tito, an entrepreneur who enters a super-fast snail in the Indy 500. Pena was impressed with how the movie mirrored the actual thing.

"I have to be honest with you, I haven't seen too much racing until the movie and then the movie captured it so well — so specifically that it's got you by the edge of your seat," he said. "And then coming here and seeing how specific they were with the Speedway and the seating and everything."

The movie opens in wide release in July.

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