Scott Dixon was robbed at gunpoint at a fast-food restaurant hours after taking pole for the Indianapolis 500.
The 36-year-old New Zealander was in a car with Briton Dario Franchitti – a three-time Indy 500 winner – when the incident happened in Speedway, Indiana.
Neither Dixon nor Scot Franchitti, who retired in 2013, were hurt. Two boys, aged 15 and 14, were later arrested.
Tony Kanaan told reporters his Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate Dixon was buying food for a group of drivers.
“While they were ordering with their windows down, two guys approached at gunpoint,” Kanaan said.
“They held a gun at Dixon’s head and asked him for his wallet and his phone. You don’t expect that to happen, especially here.”
Dixon will attempt to win the Indy 500 for the second time on Sunday.
Meanwhile, French driver Sebastien Bourdais has tweeted a picture of himself in hospital after he suffered multiple fractures to his pelvis and a fracture to his right hip in a high-speed crash during qualifying on Saturday.