A front row seat to life behind the wheel of an Indy Car

NEWTON, Iowa – There are some things in life you must truly see to believe and an IndyCar race is one of those things.

“Once you see it live then you can relate it to the television,” said Curtis Francois, Gateway Motorsports Park owner.

Exhilarating for fans, sure, but is it scary for drivers?

"If you’re scared as a driver, you’re probably in the wrong sport,” said IndyCar driver Ed Carpenter.

"If you break loose in these kind of cars with the down force, you’re going straight into the wall at 170 miles per hour,” said Indy Lights driver Kyle Kaiser.

That reassuring conversation with Kaiser left Fox 2's Mike Colombo sufficiently scared as he prepared to explore life behind the wheel.

The opportunity came through the Honda Fastest Seat In Sports Two Seater experience. Mike got to participate as a member of the media, but contest winners get a chance to ride in a tandem car with drivers like Mario Andretti on race days at various tracks around the country.

Prior to his ride, Colombo spoke with former IndyCar driver Davey Hamilton about what to expect during the ride.

“I think the biggest surprise will be how low you sit. Then the acceleration and the G forces are the things you’re really going to be surprised with.” said Hamilton.

Wearing a full fire suit, helmet and gloves, Colombo stepped into the car. He noted that because of his height (Mike’s 6'2”), he felt really cramped. That feeling only worsened when crews strapped him in place with a five-point harness and protective neck collar.

"The first thing I feel is extremely claustrophobic. Can’t really breathe. It’s pretty tight." said Colombo.

Mike said his ride—clocking in at 3 minutes, 30 seconds—was incredible. He noted that he was consciously telling himself to breath because the speed and pressure from the G-force really was breathtaking. Once the ride got going he says he was able to relax and enjoy it. His car reached more than 160 miles per hour on the straight-a-ways.

Colombo added he was a little shaky when he got out of the car, which he attributed to the adrenaline and lack of oxygen.

You can register for a chance to win a ride in an IndyCar like Mike took by visiting any Bommarito Automotive Group location before August 16th to sign up.

Tickets are on sale now for the August 26 Bommarito 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park. Head to Bommarito.com and GatewayMSP.com for more information on how you can get tickets.​