Indianapolis News and Headlines


Alexander Rossi visits ‘good luck charm' Riley patient ahead of Indy 500

Posted at 5:28 PM, May 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 17:28:16-04

INDIANAPOLIS – Indy 500 champ Alexander Rossi paid a visit to his “good luck charm” Wednesday – an 8-year-old patient at Riley Children’s Hospital.

Rossi credits Layden Mertens’ advice with helping him win his first Indy 500 last year. As his good luck charm, Rossi asked for more advice from Mertens.

“You need to tell me what to do (to win Sunday’s race),” Rossi said.

Mertens, from Goodland, IN visits Riley three times per week for kidney dialysis, which he began about three years ago. He gave Rossi his best advice.

“You keep on driving… and don’t run out of gas,” said Mertens, who owns a race team jersey and replica of Rossi’s 2016 winning IndyCar.

Mertens and his family were given tickets to this weekend’s race and he was sure to give Rossi a special drawing to hang up in his locker.


RELATED | 500 miles: Indianapolis Motor Speedway vs. I-465 | IndyCar family battles infertility, encourages others to keep hope | IndyCar 101: Indy 500 traditions | The full lineup for the 2017 Indianapolis 500