Ep.73 – Scott Tucker: The Business Story

Scott Tucker and his epic “Level 5” sportscar program is the thing of legends. We actually owe a little something to Scott and Level 5 because our own “Level 5 Special” is the most downloaded one in our history. Imagine having a team owner, with a passion for racing, who has the means to fund things properly and really do things “right,” which is code for going big. That’s what Level 5 was, and Scott Tucker was the man behind it. Unfortunately his personal business would meet sharp criticism and controversy as the team went on, eventually folding the team as Scott concentrated on his on-going legal matters. For the amazing racing stories, tune in to our previous episode. For the business and legal side of the story, as told by Scott, enjoy this one. Dinner was courtesy of the Full Schilling in Wall Street, New York City. Music was provided by Graveler. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great MDX.

Ep.72 – Scott Tucker: The Racing Story

Scott Tucker and his epic “Level 5” sportscar program is the thing of legends. We actually owe a little something to Scott and Level 5 because our own “Level 5 Special” is the most downloaded one in our history. Imagine having a team owner, with a passion for racing, who has the means to fund things properly and really do things “right,” which is code for going big. That’s what Level 5 was, and Scott Tucker was the man behind it. Unfortunately his personal business would meet sharp criticism and controversy as the team went on, eventually folding the team as Scott concentrated on his on-going legal matters. For the business and legal stories, stay tuned for the next episode. For the racing stories, enjoy this one. Dinner was courtesy of the Full Schilling in Wall Street, New York City. Music was provided by Children of Eden. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great MDX.

Ep.71 – Parker Kligerman

Parker Kligerman is a perfect example of resilience ahead of career challenges, and it’s because of that he should have a long career ahead of him. Beginning as a road racer, Parker saw the writing on the wall and went stock car racing, then had a Penske development contract at 18, only to see it all end when things didn’t work out. Recognizing opportunity when he saw it, Parker has since moved on to a broadcasting career with NBC Sports Network, and sure enough that has re-introduced him to driving opportunities, funny how that works!  Lunch was courtesy of Taco Bar in Stamford, CT, with the music of Tigerdog taking us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great MDX.

Ep.70 – Mario Andretti, Pt. 2

Do we really need to explain who Mario Andretti is? It’s Mario Andretti. IT’S MARIO ANDRETTI. He gave us so much time that we had to split the episode in two…BECAUSE YOU DON’T EDIT MARIO ANDRETTI. PART TWO  Dinner was served at the Blue Grill House, located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Music was provided by Tigerdog. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great MDX.

Ep.69 – Mario Andretti, Pt. 1

Do we really need to explain who Mario Andretti is? It’s Mario Andretti. IT’S MARIO ANDRETTI. He gave us so much time that we had to split the episode in two…BECAUSE YOU DON’T EDIT MARIO ANDRETTI.  Dinner was served at the Blue Grill House, located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Music was provided by The Soul Jacket. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great MDX.

Ep.68 – Brian Till

Brian Till is a classic racing tale of a guy who has never stopped working, and in such has carved out his own place in sport. A champion of various junior level categories, Brian enjoyed a brief stint in IndyCar and Trans-Am racing before finding an eventual home as a television broadcaster, and during the entirety of his career has always been a racing instructor at a variety of locations. His ability to relate, tell stories, and be a genuinely likable guy- combined with his work ethic- is what’s kept him around and you can really hear it in this episode.  Dinner was served at Cantina Laredo in Columbus, Ohio. Music was provided by Ruto. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great MDX.

Ep.67 – Craig Hampson: The Young Engineer’s Special

A special edition for Dinner with Racers, we decided to cut Craig Hampson’s recording in to two parts. While his main episode focused largely on his stories and bigger picture examination, we wanted to focus exclusively on how he cut his teeth as a young engineer, specifically for our large audience of aspiring engineers who are curious about a career in motorsports. If you’re curious about what it takes, involved in Formula SAE, or just want to hear tales of young Craig Hampson, this is the episode for you.  Lunch was served at The Haymarket Pub and Brewery, located in Chicago, Illinois. Music was provided by Tiger Dog. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great MDX.

Ep.66 – Craig Hampson

Craig Hampson is one of the most respected engineers in all of IndyCar racing, and when you hear him talk you can instantly understand why. Extremely articulate and with an amazing attention to detail, Craig has worked with Mario Andretti, Sebastien Bourdais, and a host of others, including being the man behind all of Sebastien Bourdais’ championships. A father of two girls who wanted to stay with his family more often in Chicago, he’s now with the lone Chicago-based team, Dale Coyne Racing.  Lunch was served at The Haymarket Pub and Brewery, located in Chicago, Illinois. Music was provided by Lionkness. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great MDX.

Ep.65 – Ryan Lewis

What makes Ryan Lewis such an interesting guest is what his role isn’t in the sport. In a season of holy sh**, Ryan’s career has maybe not gone according to plan, despite being very talented and very articulate, which is why we thought we should sit with him. With a keen mind for evaluation and self diagnosis, we walk through Ryan’s career to look at the good, the bad, and the future. He also didn’t now what he was walking in to, and got drunk as f***.  Lunch(?) was courtesy of The Alley Cat Lounge in Indianapolis, IN, with the music of Jungle of Cities taking us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great MDX.

Ep.64 – Dorsey Schroeder

For fans of historic sportscar racing, Dorsey Schroeder is a true living legend. What makes him amazing is that he’s a legend for his off-track exploits as much as on. Making his biggest name in the golden era of Trans-Am, Dorsey was the key figure in the era of the Roush Mustang, before moving to NASCAR and eventually broadcasting, where he has amazing stories across the board. This episode features no shortage of drunk tales, stories about Dale Earnhardt, and living by a lake.  Dinner was courtesy of Kilroy’s in Indianapolis, IN, with the music of Jungle of Cities taking us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great MDX.

Ep.63 – Robin Miller

Love him or hate him, Robin Miller is one of the most entertaining people you could ever meet in the IndyCar scene. A career journalist with multiple accounts of failing at driving or anything mechanical, Robin Miller’s enthusiasm for all things open wheel and IndyCar racing is unparalleled, and it’s because of that passion that he’s endured a five decade career in the sport as a journalist and broadcast for a variety of mediums. We weren’t sure what to expect, but walked away loving the guy… his enthusiasm is real, he’s freakin’ hilarious, and he pulls no punches.  Lunch was served at the 1911 Grill, owner Dinner with Racers alum Sarah Fisher, with the music of The Deadlies taking us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great MDX.

Ep.62 – Doug Boles

According to his college degree, Doug Boles began his career as a lawyer, yet when you sit down with him, you hear about anything but that. Serving every non-mechanical role that you could in the sport, Doug has gone from team principal, to strategist, to spotter, to somehow ending up as the President of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a job which he takes on with an immense out of passion and enthusiasm. Reflecting on his career, join us for some amazing insight in to being the most important man to the sport’s most iconic track.  Dinner was actually catered underneath the famous pagoda, courtesy of Doug and the fine folks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Levy Foods, one of the most memorable experiences we’ve ever had. Music played by Justin Allen and the Well Shots. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great MDX.

Ep.61 – Scott Dixon

The “Iceman” has long been known as someone who keeps his personality hidden from the public, but we care to dinner. Not only is Scott Dixon a three-time IndyCar Series champion, Indy 500 winner, and the winningest active driver out there, but the dude is hilarious and absolutely awesome to have lunch with. We were blown away by how funny he was, and how willing he was to share, including his account of getting robbed at Taco Bell, just how many sheep live in New Zealand, driving with a pillow strapped to yourself, and more.  Lunch was served at Tegry Bistro in Indianapolis, IN. Music was provided by Novacaine (available on Spotify). Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great MDX.

Ep.60 – Dr. Jerry Punch

You think you’ve heard it all, then you hear Dr. Jerry Punch. An MD by profession, a broadcaster by trade, this likable Tennessee-native has created a niche exclusive to him, carving out a four-decade career that has combined his experience as an ER doctor with his love of motorsport and college football to become a true legend of the sport. Dr. Punch has been a pitman reporter in NASCAR since the 1980’s, as well as the Indy 500, but also ran an ER in Daytona Beach for several years, before starting his own practice. Be ready to hear some amazing tales of driver recovery, life on the road and much, much more. Dinner was served at Calhoun’s on the River, located in Knoxville, Tennessee. Music was provided by Freek (available on CD Baby). Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great car.

Ep.59 – Dario Franchitti

You couldn’t ask for a more dream opening to Season Three than with Dario Franchitti. One of the most storied drivers of IndyCar, Dario is a three-time Indy 500 winner, a four-time IndyCar Series champion, and easily regarded as one of the all-time greats. With his soothing Scottish voice, Dario joined us to not just tell tales of IndyCar racing, but life away from the track, his brief stint in NASCAR, the amazing tale of being robbed at gunpoint, getting involved in high speed chases with people braking in to his home, and life after forced retirement. It’s an amazing listen, and afterward he drove us for the rest of the trip! Dinner was served at Santé a restaurant at the Fairmont Mission Inn in Sonoma, California. We kick off our third season with the music of Desure, a favorite of Patrick Long. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great car.

Ep.58 – Season Three Special Announcement!

A special announcement on the next season of “Dinner with Racers,” and a never-before-heard, exclusive look at what it’s like to have dinner with the show’s second-most popular host.

Ep.57 – Alex Gurney

alexgurneyBeing the son of one of racing’s all-time legends hasn’t phased Alex Gurney one bit, and that’s probably because he’s done an excellent job of carving out his own career. Despite beginning his racing career at 19 and competing against guys who started 11 years before him, Alex would continue on to become a two-time Rolex Sports Car Series champion, and currently helps to run AAR, known to many as All American Racers, one of the most storied companies in all of motorsports, started by his father Dan. Learn about his career path, some legendary tales of his father… and his gambling problem. Dinner was served at Eureka in Irvine, California, with the music of Jarrod Gorbel to close out our second season. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car, we hope to announce the future plans of Dinner with Racers soon.

Ep.56 – Brendan Gaughan

brendangaughanBrendan Gaughan is one of NASCAR’s most unique and colorful characters. After a successful career in off-road as well junior open-wheel categories, the Las Vegas native turned his attention to NASCAR, ultimately becoming a multiple winner in the Truck Series, and eventually landing opportunities in both the Cup an Xfinity cateogories, where he has continued to win and even qualified for the 2016 Chase. What makes him especially unique, however, is an upbringing unlike anyone else. A member of the famous Gaughan family, Brendan’s grandfather and father have made huge careers out of the casino business, owning a series of casinos in both Las Vegas and beyond, with the most current noteworthy one being the South Point Casin in Southern Las Vegas. Oh, and the dude can play basketball, having helped train with NBA legend Allen Iverson while playing at Georgetown. Dinner was served at possibly the nicest restaurant in the history of the series, Michael’s Gourmet Room, located in the South Point Casino. Music was provided by Kari Holmes. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.

Ep.55 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (with Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney)

rickystenhouseRicky Stenhouse Jr. is one of NASCAR’s top stars, now entering his fifth season of the top-tier Cup category. Part of the wave of “development drivers” that burst on to the scene 10 years ago, Ricky has been part of the Roush family for nearly a decade, and in the process has won two consecutive Xfinity series championships, multiple victories in various categories, and is on the cusp of a Cup breakout. He was also a close friend of the late Bryan Clauson, who we were fortunate enough to meet during our first season. Meeting up at Fresco Italiano in Las Vegas’s Westgate hotel, the real surprise of the day was Ricky bringing three of his friends: his buddy Aaron, and then fellow NASCAR stars Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney. With such a dynamic group, you get an idea of what it’s like to just “hang out with the guys,” with the episode being closed out by the music of Jarrod Gorbel. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.

Ep.54 – Peter Cunningham

petercunninghamPeter Cunningham is a staple of the American sportscar scene, and has been for three decades. The owner and former driver of RealTime Racing, the Wisconsin native is one of the most heralded drivers and team owners in World Challenge Series history, having been with the series as a driver since inception, and with both driver and team amassing a record number of wins and championships along the way. A staple of the Honda / Acura brand, “PD” also owns and operates the largest private collection of vintage Honda machines in the USA, oh and he’s also Ryan’s boss. Breakfast was served courtesy of the world-famous Peppermill, a historic coffee shop in downtown Las Vegas. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.

Ep.53 – Eddie Gossage

eddiegossageEddie Gossage is what most of us would define as a “boss.” As the President of Texas Motor Speedway, this is the man behind some of the most glorious stunts in all of racing, including everything from Robosaurus, to Robby Knievel jumping over the entire IndyCar grid, to literally having a monkey sell his race programs. A true entertainer and consummate businessman, hear about the world of track management as only Eddie can tell you. Dinner was served courtesy of Texas Motor Speedway’s very own Speedway Club, with the music of I See Hawks in L.A. closing us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.

Ep.52 – Randy Lanier

randylanierRandy Lanier burst on to the motorsport scene in the late 1970’s, eventually forming Blue Thunder Racing with Bill and Don Whittington. The group became a legend of the 1980’s, with Randy winning the 1984 IMSA GTP championship over factory rivals, and then turning to IndyCar where he steadily began to gain results by his second year. What later came to light was the entire operation was funded by a marijuana smuggling ring that Randy orchestrated, eventually getting arrested and serving 27 years in jail, only recently getting out. He tells us EVERYTHING. Yes, EVERYTHING. That’s all we’ll say. Dinner was served courtesy of Cabana El Rey in Delray Beach, Florida, with the music of Jarrod Gorbel closing us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.

Ep.51 – Don Whittington

donwhittingtonDon Whittington, or “Donny Dubbs” as he allowed us to call him, is one of the most unique characters in all of racing. First off, the dude is a real racer. A REAL racer. Sports cars, IndyCar, stock cars, off-road, even AIRPLANES, this guy has raced and been competitive in all of them. This includes winning the 1979 Le Mans 24 overall, team with his brother Bill and Klaus Ludwig to beat out the more powerful factory teams. In addition, Don was also part of a 1980’s sportscar scene that would eventually lead to his arrest, pleading guilty in 1986 to money laundering, and serving 18 months in federal prison. Not afraid to speak his mind, Don continues to own and operate World Jet, a private airport in Fort Lauderdale, and is one of the most outspoken guys we’ve had on the show. Dinner was served courtesy of Pizza Fusion (owned by the brother of IMSA’s very own Shea Adam), with the music of Richard Sherfey and All God’s Children. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.

Ep.50 – Hurley Haywood

hurleyhaywoodA sportscar legend and a Porsche icon, Hurley Haywood currently holds the record for most number of overall wins at Daytona, in additional to winning at Sebring and three-times at Le Mans. Completely unbeatable in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Hurley eventually became the long American factory driver for Porsche, combining his fast but patient nature with his extremely calm and classy demeanor to become the perfect brand representative. While we have no idea why somone this classy would give us his time, we appreciate it, and we were able to cover topics from his best wins, to Stanley Kubrick movies, to an upcoming documentary on his relationship with teammate Peter Greg. Dinner was served at The Tasting Room in St. Augustine, Florida, with the music of The Blue Hours to take us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.

Ep.49 – David Hobbs

davidhobbsThere are few people in the world who can successfully drive in Formula One, IndyCar, sportscars, stock cars, and then cap it off with a 40 YEAR CAREER IN BROADCASTING. That’s David Hobbs. The dude is a legend, there’s nothing more to say. Hear some of the most legendary stories from the most legendary times. Lunch was served at The Cobalt, located in the Vero Beach Hotel & Spa in Vero Beach, Florida, with the music of Mike Birch taking us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.

Ep.48 – Max Jones

maxjonesMax Jones didn’t earn the nickname “Max the Axe” for no reason. As the General Manager of Chip Ganassi Racing’s NASCAR division, Max is a no-nonsense guy who has a career of proven results. That career, however, isn’t the traditional NASCAR management career. Max actually comes from a heralded series of accolades as a young mechanic, then became one of the fiercest sportscar drivers competing against guys like Tommy Kendall, and then ultimately joining team management for Jack Roush, Eddie Cheever, and now Chip Ganassi. He’s a guy who’s done it and seen it all, but you’d never know because he hates interviews. Breakfast was served at Toast in Davison, North Carolina, with the music of Richard Sherfey and All God’s Children to take us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.

Ep.47 – Marty Smith

martysmithMarty Smith began as a NASCAR reporter at 21-years old, and if you ask him he would have never imagined that nearly two decades later he’d transition a simple writing career would turn him in to one of ESPN’s top on-camera talents in the country. Covering NASCAR for 17 years, when ESPN lost the broadcast rights to NASCAR, Marty transitioned to covering college football, becoming one of the main guys in their SEC coverage and solidifying his place among the all-time great broadcasters. It’s easy to see why he’s as successful as he is, with every word out of his mouth carefully chosen, but without losing any hint of sincerity. Morning coffee was served courtesy of Starbucks in Charlotte, NC, with the music of I See Hawks in L.A. to carry us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.

Ep.46 – Justin Marks

justinmarksJustin Marks doesn’t deny that he came in to the sport with the unique privilege of coming from personal funding at a young age, but what makes him unique is how he’s transitioned that in to quietly becoming an influencer in the sport. A beast behind the wheel, Justin has won multiple times in the former ALMS, as well as his class at The Rolex 24 at Daytona, but perhaps his greatest personal driving accomplishment was winning this year’s NASCAR Xfinity round at the famed Mid-Ohio circuit. Outside of the car, Justin has built an amazing series of businesses for himself, everything from Mooresville’s GoPro Motorplex, to the Larson-Marks Racing World of Outlaw racing team, to a fantastic karting import business. Learn about his insight in to the sport that’s more thoughtful than most. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.

Ep.45 – Matt Hardigree

matthardigreeIt’s been an interesting time in the offices of Jalopnik, or their “new” parent company Gizmodo Media Group, who have literally survived an existential threat to see another day. This story and more is told by Executive Editor Matt Hardigree, who has been with Jalopnik for nine years and has a very specific understanding of the media, automotive, and motorsport cultures. Learn about his most awkward celebrity culture, how he lied his way in to success, how he’d fix racing, and more. Last minute pizza was served at an unknown location in New York, New York, with the music of Earthworm Ensemble to take us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.

Ep.44 – NASCARCASM

nascarcasmWell normally we sit down to eat with actual people, but this lunch was with our first Twitter handle. However, there’s a specific reason. While motorsport has many funny Twitter accounts, the man behind NASCARCAM was able to take his joke account from something he did for fun, to a full-time job having signed on with NASCAR to add his humor to many elements of their digital content. Learn about how he came to be, what NASCAR stars roll with his humor the best, why Sean hates him, and listen to the group develop a very specific routine for the one and only Austin Dillon. Lunch was served at Kilroy’s in Indianapolis, with the music of Jarrod Gorbel to close us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.