Photos: Indy 500 Celebs’ Best Red-Carpet Quotes

LeAnn Rimes, Dario Franchitti, Ice-T and Coco Austin, Mark Cuban, Gracie Gold, and more talk about their first cars … and first speeding tickets.

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The Indianapolis 500 brings out the speed demons in us all. We talked to celebrities on the race’s red carpet at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to find out two things: their first cars, and the circumstances of their first speeding tickets:


LeAnn Rimes, another big-name country star and this year’s national anthem singer

First Car: “It was the first car I ever wanted. My dad bought it for me. It was a Dodge Viper for my 15th birthday. My dad took me out in it in the rain, and he spun it out, and he showed me what it could do and how easily it could spin out. “

First Ticket: “I’ve never been given a speeding ticket. But I have been [cited] for tinted windows.”

Dario Franchitti, three-time Indy 500 winner (now retired)

First Car: “It was a Fiat Uno Turbo. I borrowed some friends’ cars until I could afford to buy that, and I really couldn’t afford to buy that. It was a great little car. I tried to look for it a little while ago, and it had been scrapped, unfortunately. It was a little buzz ball.”

First Ticket: “I was going 43 in a 30. [The officer and I] had a little discussion. He not only gave me a ticket, but he phoned my dad and my granddad and told them. My grandfather was cool with it. My father wasn’t. He gave me a stern talking-to. Going fast was for on the track and not on the road—I was told that many, many times.”

Ice-T and Coco Austin, rapper and reality-TV wife

First Car:
Coco: “I had an ’84 Mustang.”
Ice-T: “And I had a (Chevy) Corvair. It was a bucket. It cost $400, and it caught on fire.”

First Ticket:
Ice-T: “Well, none of my early cars could even speed.”
Coco: “I got out of mine because my dad was a police officer.” 

Jeff Ross, comedian/actor

First Car: “I drove a ’76 Firebird. It was orange with a white vinyl roof. It was in the ’80s, so it was already kind of old. I bought it with cash myself, with hard-earned money I made making fruticups at my dad’s catering company. I loved it.”

First Ticket: “I was in New Jersey on an off-ramp on the Garden State Parkway. I was probably doing about 80 [miles per hour]. I hear [the Jersey cops] have calmed down since then.”

Erik Valdez, General Hospital actor

First Car: “It was an ’85 Ford Bronco II. My grandfather gave it to me when he died.”

First Ticket: “It was in a Toyota Mark II Turbo. It made about 370 horse power, slihgtly modified. Got pulled over en route to Texas from California, where I’m from, doing 101 in a 65. It was in New Mexico.”

Dwayne Allen, Colts NFL pro

First Car: “It’s an old ’97 Chevy Impala. I still drive it.”

First Ticket: “I was going 95 in a 55. I almost got arrested on that one. It was in Darlington, South Carolina. So it was in racing country, just not Indy racing country. I had to pay a hefty fine.”

Mark Cuban, IU grad, Dallas Mavericks owner, and Shark Tank honcho

First Car: “A 1966 Buick LaSabre. It was a bad-ass car.”

First Ticket: “Driving to Washington, D.C., and my dad will never let me forget it. Because I was like, ‘Let me drive! Let me drive!’ and he was like, ‘No, no no.’ I told him ‘I’ll be good,’ and then I got a ticket. Dad had to pay for it. I was doing a lot of chores for a long time.”

Martina McBride, country-music star

First Car: “My first car was a 1975 Dodge Dart. It was a used car from my sister. I bought it for $400. 

First Ticket: “I have many tickets.”

Gracie Gold, Sochi Olympian in figure skating who won bronze

First Car: “It’s a 2007 Mini Cooper—laser blue, black stripes.”

First Ticket: “I am so stuck on traffic rules. No speeding.”

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