Carlos Munoz

On the heels of the announcement this week that two-time Indianapolis 500 runner-up Carlos Munoz is returning to Andretti Autosport to compete in the 102nd running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in May, it’s an appropriate time to go back to his childhood. In a chat with writer Phillip B. Wilson, Munoz recalls a memorable bicycle ride in his native Colombia.

Wilson: What’s your earliest memory?

Munoz: Go-kart racing. All my memories are from racing.

Wilson: How old were you?

Munoz: I have a really nice memory. I had this custom suit. It wasn’t sparkly or anything like that, it was Colombian-made racing suit. It was my first one where we made the measurements and everything. I also had my motorcycle helmet. I was so happy with my new boots.

Wilson: You were set?

Munoz: I would go on my bicycle in my go-kart outfit around where I lived. Everyone was watching me, wondering, ‘What’s this guy doing with the helmet and the suit?’ I just remember I wanted to try it so badly. After school, I got there and I saw my suit and put it on and rode my bike. That memory is always on my mind.

Wilson: How old were you?

Munoz: I think 9.

Wilson: Where?

Munoz: Bogota.

Wilson: So, some kid is riding around on a bike in a racing suit and helmet?

Munoz: I remember it was a red suit and also a red helmet. I still have the helmet. I was all red.

Wilson: So, were you dreaming of being someone?

Munoz: I was just Carlos Munoz, taking some lines on my bike.

Wilson: Mom and Dad have to call you back in?

Munoz: I just kept riding. I had a little track down there. Neighborhood security was looking at me. They’d just be like, ‘It’s him again.’ I’d ride a long time.