In an alternate universe, veteran IndyCar Series driver Alex Tagliani has a daughter named Axle Rose, which is not to be confused with Axl Rose, frontman for rock and roll act Guns n’ Roses.
Tagliani and wife Bronte welcomed their first child into the world on April 16 and named their newborn daughter Eva-Rose but not without a lot of back-and-forth and comedic interaction between both members of the very headstrong couple.
Ever the racecar driver, Tagliani wanted to name his son Axle, a plan that was quickly negated once it was discovered they were expecting a daughter.
“I like music,” Tagliani said. “I listen to it all the time. But the thing is that I can’t tell you who I’m listening to. Like, I can’t tell you who sings which songs or who performs them.
“So I told Bronte that I wanted to name our son Axle but then we found out that we were having a girl. So naturally, I still wanted to name her Axle which she said sounded way too masculine for a girl. She wanted to name her Rose so I said, ‘let’s name her Axle Rose.'”
This is where not being familiar with pop culture and rock and roll came back to humorously bite the 41-year-old former pole winner of the Indianapolis 500.
“She told me, that’s not going to work at all,” Tagliani recalled. “Because there is this band and Axl Rose is the lead singer and he is a man so I don’t think that’s going to work either.”
At the end of the day, Tagliani says he likes the name Eva-Rose and has even incorporated her name into his latest helmet design for Sunday’s race.
Always a driver known for having unique and custom helmet designs across a variety of disciplines, Tagliani has brought yet another new design for his latest attempt in the 500-Mile race – this time with AJ Foyt Racing.
“When I was with Team Penske for the NASCAR race, we had Discount Tire on the side with the stripes,” Tagliani said. “And when we worked with Bower & Wilkins, I had speakers on the side over my ears. So this is a way to have another cool helmet and have roses on my helmet without anyone being able to make fun of me.”
Tagliani starts 20th on Sunday in the 500-Mile Race, but believes his car has top-10 speed which is all a driver needs to at least have a shot in the closing laps of the storied event. He feels like he and his team left a little bit on the table in qualifying too when the qualifying rule changes on Sunday morning prevented his crew from finding the right gear that worked with the decreased speeds.
While he agrees with the assertion that Chevrolet has more speed, he believes he has some strategic advantages driving a Honda this weekend.
“Chevy has created this aero kit that seems to work well without too much wing and Honda has to work with a car that carries more wing above the car, which decreases speed and creates more drag but there are a lot of positives with the Honda package as well,” he said. “You have to get the most out of it, we have a good car and in traffic I was really happy with it and maybe we have better mileage too.
“At the end of the day this is 8-9 [pit] stop race and if you have good fuel mileage we can make things happen. Don’t underestimate that you’re only going to see who can win this race until the final handful of laps.”
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