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Pratt stars at track in role as honorary Hoosier

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 27, 2014 at 1:42 pm •  Published: July 27, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Chris Pratt has caught passes from Andrew Luck, sampled the spicy shrimp cocktail at St. Elmo's and driven the pace car at the Brickyard 400.

He plays an Indiana resident on TV, and he's fit right in as an honorary Hoosier at a trifecta of must-see landmarks in Indianapolis.

"You can tell, I've been treated really well when I've come here," Pratt said.

Pratt was at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday to drive the pace car and promote his newest movie, "Guardians of the Galaxy." The 35-year-old star of the TV show "Parks and Recreation" watched part of the race from Tony Stewart's pit box. He's still a race novice, though he did say he had heard of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, and Jeff Gordon.

"I can't believe it's taken me 35 years to see NASCAR in person. This is unbelievable. I am seriously hooked," he said from Stewart's pit stall during an early caution.

He tweeted a picture of him chatting with Johnson with the caption, "What a cool guy!"

"I didn't understand the importance of the pace car. But there's a real importance, to establish on their tachometers what is 55 mph so when they come through pit road they don't get penalized," Pratt said earlier Sunday in an interview with The Associated Press.

"So my plan is, set 'em at 58. I'll sit back and just make some bets. Then I'll watch everyone get penalized. Cash in and buy an island."

He's doing just fine cashing in at the box office. Pratt also voiced the lead in the hit animated film "The Lego Movie" this year. With a "Guardians of the Galaxy," Pratt's films may surpass $1 billion at the box office in 2014.

Pratt plays lovably goofy Andy Dwyer on "Parks and Recreation," set in the fictional Pawnee, Indiana. He was on hand when the show filmed scenes in Indianapolis, including a guest shot from Luck. Luck tossed passes to the stars of the show for filming at Lucas Oil Stadium.

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