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Hey, look! It's Hope Solo!

INDIANAPOLIS -- The most famous (and likely most photographed) soccer player in America just turned up in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway press room, declaring herself ready and then some to drive the pace car for today's Brickyard 400.

"You ever driven a car fast before?" someone asked Hope Solo, whose goalkeeping skills were most recently on display at the women's World Cup, where the U.S. team lost in a shootout in the final to Japan.

"Oh, I've gotten plenty of speeding tickets," Solo replied with a laugh.

Then she said it wasn't auto racing but hydroplane racing she grew up following in Richland, Wash. Her family, in fact, was part of the dive and rescue crew every year for the Columbia Cup races on the Columbia River.

As to the state soccer in America, and particularly women's soccer ...

"Everyone can tell the sport is growing and it's growing exponentially," said Solo, as a flurry of cellphone cameras suddenly appeared, most of them being aimed by, um, guys. "U.S. soccer is here to stay."

Ben Smith's blog.