Sports Xtra: Drivers finally hit the gym, track this week

Posted at 11:39 PM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 23:39:00-04

INDIANAPOLIS — It's just after 8:30 a.m. and for the first time in awhile, drivers are trickling in to workout at Pitfit.

Dalton Kellett here. Spencer Pigot there. Following Jim Leo's program, which has been around for years, but now doing it in person.

The online workout became everything for the drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Well, we've been using it for some time so it wasn't a big transition but this became critical," Leo, president of Pitfit Training, said.

Tony Kanaan walks in approaching his final full season of ovals in IndyCar. Like the rest of us, he's spent his fair share of time at home.

"This is my first live interview in like three months," Kanaan said with a laugh.

Kanaan has workout gear at home, but using that every day felt as repetitive as banging a medicine ball against the ground.

"My routine really hadn't changed much when I was home — I was always home," Kanaan said. "We're fortunate to have our home gym because I'm a psycho about that, but I think it's really important for your mind to actually leave your house."

Pitfit, lifting its already high standards by hiring a company called David Allen Certified, protecting clients and employees at the same time.

"We basically use the same service and spray that the airlines use," Leo said. "We sanitize the whole place and then they use this spray coating and that lasts for 30 days where anything that lands on it dies."

Count James Hinchcliffe among those ready for the next step. Working out during the week, racing this weekend. From Jim and his assistant, Alex Wanee, at Pitfit, to the drivers involved it's about time.

"We're still trying to be cautious. We still gotta take some precautions here," Hinchcliffe said. "We've staggered out the drivers a lot more, giving everyone a lot more space. This thing's not over. This is definitely a great first step."

It's nice to see people again.

"It's great, Dave," Leo said. "It made us look at our safety measures that we were doing already fairly high but now it's the next level."

For months now, IndyCar were counting down the days before they could finally get back on track, but for most of the guys as well, the countdown just to get into a gym was on.

Big week for IndyCar as they look ahead to the season opener.