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Indy 500 Winner Rossi Puts Smiles on Students' Faces during First Day of School

Alexander Rossi admits it’s been awhile since the last time he experienced a first day of school, but he was more than happy to create pleasant memories Aug. 1 for a group of special Indianapolis-area students as they entered their first day of class for the 2018-19 academic year.

2016 Indianapolis 500 winner and Verizon IndyCar Series star Rossi joined players from the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers and Indy Eleven on Wednesday morning to welcome back students to Noblesville West Middle School in Noblesville, Indiana, where a 13-year-old student shot and injured a classmate and a teacher May 25.

“Today was pretty unique,” Rossi said. “I haven’t been to a first day of school in probably 10 years. To be able to see the joy that the kids have coming back here even despite everything they’ve been through is very inspiring and special, and I’m glad we were able to play a small part in it.”

Andretti Autosport driver Rossi, who won the most recent Verizon IndyCar Series race last Sunday at Mid-Ohio, greeted students and also helped a sixth-grader open his locker. The welcome from Rossi and fellow Indianapolis professional athletes created a special, warm atmosphere for students who endured a tragedy just nine weeks ago.

“It was cool to see kids smile when they saw that we were all here for them,” Rossi said. “I think that’s what it’s all about, and I’m glad I had the opportunity.”

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