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Sushi with Sato: Defending Indy 500 champ excited to have fans at IMS after 'lonely' 2020 race

The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner invited Dave Calabro to sit down for lunch at Hinata downtown.

INDIANAPOLIS — Defending Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato has a chance to join some elite company this year if he can win his third Indy 500. 

He recently took some time off to sit down for lunch with 13News sports director Dave Calabro at his favorite restaurant, Hinata, on Washington Street downtown.

"If you need to go fast, you need a good fuel," Sato said.

"This is fuel food for you, isn't it. Good energy food," Calabro said. "Do you eat junk food?"

"I do," Sato replied. "Hamburgers and cheeseburgers are my favorite food, too."

There were no cheeseburgers on the menu this day, as the chef prepared a bento box, a kind of sampler platter of various Japanese foods.

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"Everything on this plate looks delicious, but I'm a little afraid of the squid," Calabro said.

"Just go for it," Sato said.

"It's pretty good," Calabro said after taking a big bite.

"Right? I mean, it looks, obviously a little scary in here, but..." Sato laughed.

Back to racing, Sato said he's excited for the return of fans to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year.

"Very excited. That's the one thing we missed big time in 2020 was fans and atmosphere," he said.  "It was just so sad, so lonely. Gasoline Alley, so quiet...It was terrible, to be honest."

The 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 takes place Sunday, May 30. Sato will start in 15th position, on the outside of Row 5, in his bid for a third victory.

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