May in Indy exciting time for IndyCar drivers and their four-legged friends

IndyCar driver Simon Pagenaud and his dog, Norman at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (WTHR/Anna Carrera)
IndyCar drivers and their pets
Driver and their dogs
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — It's been an exciting month already, not just for IndyCar drivers and their families, but also their animals.

Many drivers take their dogs on the road to the different races for a little extra love and support. Some of them even feature their four-legged friends on social media.

Eyewitness News caught up with Simon Pagenaud and his dog, Norman, as they rode down Gasoline Alley at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Norman was sitting on Simon's lap with his paws resting on the steering wheel of the golf cart they were in.

"He loves anything with an engine, just like his daddy," said Simon, who is the pole sitter for this weekend's Indianapolis 500 race.

Norman is a 3-year-old Jack Russell Terrier. Simon and his fiancé Hailey McDermott adopted him back in 2016. Simon says Norman loves being at the track and isn't afraid of the noise.

"Picked him up and drove straight to Barber [Motorsports Park] on a Wednesday and we won our first race!" exclaimed Simon. "He was a tiny little, but first race [we brought him to] he won, so good luck charm, I guess."

Norman may be good luck, but he's also a smart pup. He understands both English and French.

He showed off some of his tricks to Eyewitness News that Simon taught him, including how to sit, stay and kiss.

And naturally, he had fun playing fetch with Simon along the front straight-away of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"You come home, they're happy," said Simon. "You had a bad day? They're happy to see you."

Norman isn't the only fur-baby in the paddock. Arrow, the Malamute, is growing into an IndyCar fan too.

In just a few short months, he's gone from weighing 11 pounds to tipping the scales at over 70.

His parents, Graham and Courtney Rahal, love to capture his many adventures on Instagram.

"How can you not love a good photo of a cute puppy? And I think, gosh, he gets more likes than I do!" Graham said. "I don't even understand it."

"He's very attached to Graham, which is a little annoying, but it's good," said Courtney. "He's a sweet dog and he loves people and kids and other dogs so it's been a lot of fun."

So far, Graham says Arrow's best trick is shedding, but he's also earned quite the following on social media. He has gained more than 7,000 followers in the last few months.

Arrow the Malamute's Instagram page (screenshot)
Arrow the Malamute's Instagram page (screenshot)
Simon Pagenaud's dog, Norman, has an Instagram page (screenshot)
IndyCar driver Simon Pagenaud and his dog Norman at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (WTHR/Anna Carrera)
IndyCar driver Simon Pagenaud and his dog Norman at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (WTHR/Anna Carrera)
IndyCar driver Simon Pagenaud and his dog Norman at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (WTHR/Anna Carrera)
IndyCar driver Simon Pagenaud and his dog Norman at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (WTHR/Anna Carrera)
IndyCar driver Simon Pagenaud and his dog Norman at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (WTHR/Anna Carrera)

If the dogs could talk, we might hear some pretty interesting things about their fast families.

"He'd be like, 'Dad! Dad! Give me some food, Dad!'" Simon chuckled as he imitated what he thought Normal would sound like.

For now, we'll just enjoy seeing other cute faces and wondering what they really think.

"I treat him like my son," explained Simon. "We obviously have a pretty active life. He gets to see a lot of things that most dogs wouldn't see, so I just love to see his reactions to things."

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