If you’re going to be in Indianapolis, then you have to see Indiana’s native son (even though he’s from Illinois), Ed Carpenter. A home-grown short track racer, Ed’s place within the IndyCar ranks is a unique, choosing to only drive on oval tracks for himself, and of course serving as the lone driver/owner in the paddock. Of course most IndyCar fans would also know Ed as being the stepson of Tony George, the founder of the Indy Racing League, and given Ed’s unique lineage within the series he embraces it with an impressive amount of humor and grace. An extremely mild mannered guy, he takes the time to talk us through everything from flipping at Indy, to some of the wildest good luck charms ever given to him by fans. Breakfast was served at Mister Lino, a coffee shop literally located in the Dallara manufacturing building, with the music of The Blue Hours to close us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.
When it comes to managing success, it’s hard to look much further than Mike Hull. As the Managing Director of Chip Ganassi Racing’s IndyCar program, Mike knows a thing or two about winning, having been part of 16 championships, over 60 wins in IndyCar, including four trips to victory lane at the Indianapolis 500. Yeah, he knows how to run a winning program. Yet, somehow he was gracious enough to give us several hours to talk about nothing in particular, including who’s invited to his beach house, who is terrible at karaoke, and more. Dinner was once again served at Tegry Sushi in Indianapolis, with the music of The Aggrolites to close us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.
We put his real name because we think we’re supposed to, but no one knows him as Kevin Blanch. He’s Rocket. And he’s badass. A self-described “ol’ hillbilly,” Rocket is a staple of the IndyCar series, serving as a painter-turned-mechanic nearly 30 years ago, and has risen through the ranks of going from mechanic to Crew Chief to now the technical manager of IndyCar, which means he’s “the guy” when cars go through tech inspection. We can see why he has this job. Rocket is as “no BS” as they come, very smart, and a pretty damn good storyteller. He also has a transgender pig, figure that out. Lunch was served at our first-ever repeat restaurant, Tegry Sushi in Indianapolis, with the music of Kari Holmes to rap us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.
Growing up #MissouriFrugal, Kenny Wallace hasn’t let the success he found in NASCAR change him one bit, and that’s why we love him. As a NASCAR veteran holding the record for number of starts in the Xfinity Series, Kenny is someone who is lived the sport for three decades, and yet his love hasn’t diminished one bit. He tell us the story of coming in to the sport with the support of guys like Dale Earnhardt and his brother, Rusty Wallace, and what life is like now as he continues to race for fun in local dirt races. We enjoy a nice lunch at The Arnold House in Arnold, Missouri, with the music of I See Hawks in L.A. to take us through. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.
If you love Corvettes, then you probably love Dan Binks. As a leading member of the Corvette Racing crew for nearly 15 years, Dan Binks has been a big part of the folklore that is Corvette’s IMSA and Le Mans winning program, but his career spans far deeper than just that. As a long-time friend of DwR alumni Tommy Kendall, Dan’s career has spanned through years of Trans-Am, racing with Jack Roush, and even winning an Xfinity championship in NASCAR. As one of the most likable guys you could ever meet, it was beyond fitting to meet with him at The Hamburg Pub in Michigan, with the music of Mike Birch to close us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.
Landon Cassill is one of the hidden gems of NASCAR. He’s not even 30 yet, but has somehow managed to have a nearly 10-year career driving for NASCAR’s top-tier categories, however it hasn’t always been as a traditional racing driver. As part of a wave of development drivers coming in to the sport 10 years ago, Landon actually made his way in to the top ranks as a test driver for Hendrick Motorsports, becoming the chief development drivers on all of Jimmie Johnson’s cars, which shows in the fact Landon currently has five championship rings as being part of the crew. While he’s now a full fledge Cup series racing driver, the Front Row Motorsports member came on our radar for his humor and skills with social media. One of the funniest guys in the paddock, you’ll have to listen to understand more. Dinner was courtesy of the Mellow Mushroom in Charlotte, 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.
If you’ve ever heard the term “working actor,” this would be a term best used to describe Marc Miller. Marc is a true “working driver.” While not a household name outside of the paddock, Marc has managed to earn a living for nearly 20 years in the sport by taking every opportunity he could, and it’s only later on in life that his efforts have finally begun to flourish. Taking two decades to “make it,” the last two years have been banner for the Michigan native, having competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the last two years, as well as winning in the top-tier GS category of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Funny and engaging, hear a variety of tales that only Marc can tell. Dinner was courtesy of Marc and his girlfriend Tabitha in their Holland, Michigan home, with the music of Michigan local Kari Holmes closing us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.
Mike Shank is the type of racer that all grassroots competitors aspire to. Working his way through the sport without a lot of money, Mike achieved limited success as a driver, eventually giving up his seat to take on Team Owner duties, which is where his career really thrived. Running a successful Formula Atlantic program, Mike eventually switch to sportscars, becoming a top-tier prototype team in Grand-Am and then IMSA, winning at The Rolex 24 and Petit Le Mans, as well as competing at Le Mans. This all translated to an incredible opportunity for 2017, where Mike’s race team was selected as the entrant for Acura’s factory NSX program in the IMSA WeatherTech GTD category. Not afraid to be one of the guys, Mike takes in multiple beers as he tells us tales of nearly losing his house, what famous driver stiffed him of millions, and where he’s at today. Beer and pizza was served at The Copper Penny in Thornville, Ohio, with the music of Stoney Spring to close us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.
Brad Kettler is a racer’s racer. Someone who never stops working and is as hands-on as “white shirt” guys go, Brad Kettler started his career as a mechanic across a number of sportscar teams throughout the 1980’s before eventually elevating himself to the role of program director with Audi Sport, eventually becoming the main guy behind all of Audi’s North American efforts in their IMSA LMP1 program, and no running the day-to-day operation of Audi Sport customer racing’s customer service. Even though he’s considered “management,” one walk through the campus that is Kettler Motorwerkes in College Corner, Ohio, will show you just how many projects he has at any one time, with eight buildings spread across the town with various projects. Lunch was served on his farm courtesy of Brad and his girlfriend, with the music of Suspects (of which IMSA mechanic Kyle Leo is a member) taking us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.
Janet Guthrie is a pioneer, a living legend, but she could care less about that, she just wants to be known as a racer. That’s what makes her so dang awesome. Before she ever got in to racing, she was flying planes, jumping out of them, and with a degree in physics before finding her true calling in motorsports, where she literally worked on her own cars on her way to winning her class at the 12 Hours of Sebring. This would set the stage for where should would truly make her mark, becoming the first woman to qualify for the Indianapolis 500, and then following that up by becoming the first woman to qualify for the Daytona 500. If that doesn’t sell you on listening, nothing will. Excellent food served by The Jerome Bar in the Aspen, Colorado’s Hotel Jerome, with the music of The Blue Hours taking us away. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.
AND BUY JANET’S BOOK!! Go to www.janetguthrie.com for more.
Janet Guthrie (Race Car Driver)- How to improve gas mileage – Texaco Commercials
Joey Hand may well go down as one of the most legendary drivers in the modern era of sportscar racing. After success in junior categories, Joey went on to become a hugely successful factory drivers for BMW including winning the Rolex 24 overall, before recently moving to the highly successful Ford GT program, where he conquered the 24 Hours of Le Mans in GTE-Pro. In this lunch we learn about getting hosed down while naked after a huge crash, and he learns a new word as well. Lunch was served at Plaza del Sole in Elk Grove, California, with the music of Son of James (available on Bandcamp) sending us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.
In our conversation we mention some of Joey’s less than stellar memories.
Joey Hand BMW M3 Spectacular Crash at Mid-Ohio 2006
Boris Said Slaps Joey Hand
A true case of perseverance, Calvin Fish has done a remarkable job of surviving a motorsport career despite repeated setbacks, and thriving with a shear willingness to take on new opportunities as they come. Beginning a career in superkarts, Calvin first made his mark by racing in junior categories in the early 1980’s, beating such unknown drivers as Ayrton Senna and Martin Brundle. Heading stateside, he’d go on to win the Formula Atlantic championship and eventually become part of the famed Roush Mustang program. Calving his since turned that in to an amazing broadcast career that he has parlayed in to driver management as well. Dinner was served at Crispina in Atlanta, Georgia with one of the greatest British pop songs of all time sending us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.
Continuing our behind-the-scenes theme, John Eversley is a storied mechanic who has been in the business for nearly three decades. When it comes to the heyday of sportscars, John has seen it all, working alongside Niki Lauda on the famous BMW M1 Procar effort, and eventually working in the glory days of IMSA with such figures as John Paul, Sr. and Bob Akin. You wouldn’t know it though, because he’s not one to just volunteer his legendary tales, which is why his stories are so unique. He’s very different from his son, the co-host of some podcast, who can’t wait to speak his mind even if you didn’t ask. Excellent dinner courtesy of Ninja Sushi in Braselton, Georgia, with the music of Jarrod Gorbel sending us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.
If you’re going to do a podcast about icons of motorsport, then Johnny O’Connell is a mandatory visit. As one of the most charismatic guys in modern sportscar, Johnny is wicked fast, you’ll know this because he’ll tell you…. having (according to him) been a second faster than every teammate he’s ever had. Beyond speed, however, Johnny brings results. As the winningest driver in GM history, Johnny took four consecutive World Challenge championships to go with his four class wins at Le Mans. One of the funniest and most likable guys in the paddock, we were happy to treat him to lunch at Moonie’s Texas Barbecue in Flowery Branch, Georgia, with the music of Wrecks playing us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Honda for providing a great car.
In our conversation we mention on of Johnny’s biggest crashes, Watkins Glen in 1993
SSgt Liam Dwyer served multiple tours in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving both in Iraq and then Afghanistan where an IED would cause significant injury to him, including the loss of his left leg. A true racer, Liam hasn’t let any of this slow him down and he’s still racing in the Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge, where he took an amazing series of victories in the 2015 season. Breakfast was courtesy of The Orange Tree in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Thanks to Continental Tire for the continued support!
Shea Adam is a star on the rise when it comes to motorsport broadcasters. An addition in recent years to the Radio LeMans pit reporting lineup, Shea explains her process and diligence, but with a great sense of humor about it. Topics include how she started, who has the best/worst game, and a few reference to Dominick Farnbacher’s hair. Dinner was courtesy of BurgerFi in Tampa, Florida. Thanks to Continental Tire for the continued support!
Jordan and Ricky Taylor are two sportscar drivers unlike any other, not sure what else there is to say. The sons of driving legend and current team owner Wayne Taylor, both drivers have numerous prototype wins, including Jordan’s 2013 championship and 2015 LeMans 24 victory. Topics include countless pee and poo stories, who they’d punch in the face, and picking on their Dad. Dinner was courtesy of Jordan from his home in Apropka, Florida. Thanks to Continental Tire for the continued support!
Bill Riley is an engineer, designer, and all-around awesome dude that, along with his father, spearheads Riley Technologies, the driving force behind many of the greatest sportscars in the last 30 years. You’d think for a guy with his success and reputation that he wouldn’t be as funny as he is, but he is thoroughly entertaining, including a number of stories that you have to hear to believe. Dinner was courtesy of Bill and his fiancée Mary from their home in Mooresville, North Carolina. Thanks to Continental Tire for the continued support!
Simon Pagenaud is a driver who is proof that hard work can persevere. Having gone from closed programs to driving as a substitute to habitually showing up on track looking for a ride, he is now an IndyCar star and driving for the legendary Penske Racing. Despite this, he’s still pretty entertaining, full of impressions, and an expert on cheese… because he’s French. Lunch was courtesy of Port City Club in Huntersville, North Carolina. Thanks to Continental Tire for the continued support!
Sarah Fisher is a driver-turned-team owner who has truly carved out her own niche in IndyCar. The first woman to score a podium in Indycar, first to score a pole, and now a co-owner of CFH Racing which is coming off a stellar 2015 season where they took two wins. We’d never met her before, and holy crap is she funny, with topics including most annoying children’s song, flipping sprint cars and test driving an F1 car. Lunch was courtesy of Tegry Sushi in Indianapolis, Indiana. Thanks to Continental Tire for the continued support!
Bryan Clauson is a driver who is an oval legend, winning everything there is to win in USAC, before being signed at 16 to Chip Ganassi’s stock car team as a development driver and most recently racing the Indy 500. More importantly, his dog has more Twitter followers than most sportscar drivers, and he’s one of the most normal guys you could meet. Dinner was courtesy of Matt the Millers in Carmel, Indiana, with the music of Slightly Stoopid closing us out.Thanks to Continental Tire for the continued support!
Derrick Walker is a true legend of the sport, first working in Formula One with Brabham and then on to IndyCars with Roger Penske, leading to owning his own race team and then becoming one of the main guys in charge at IndyCar. We have no idea why he took the time for us, and apparently neither did he, but regardless it was an excellent time hearing his stories. Lunch was brought to him courtesy of BBI deli in Indianapolis, he didn’t eat it.Thanks to Continental Tire for the continued support!
Sean Johnson is a soccer goalie for the US Men’s National Team and Chicago Fire in MLS. So why is he on our podcast? Well this dude won Continental’s first season of “What’cha Got?,” a web competition series where MLS players raced each other to win a Lamborghini for a year. The dude has a major interest in racing, this is the episode for anyone looking to learn the fundamentals of racing. Lunch was served at Hub51 in Chicago, with the music of Elle Carpenter sending us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for the continued support.
Gill Campbell has been the head woman in charge of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca since 2002, and holy crap is she awesome. In our conversation she doesn’t dodge anything as she explains the challenges of a publicly owned track, which fans are the worst, and who she would get on her knees for. Lunch took place at Turn 12 in Monterey, California, with the music of Citizen Cope sending us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for the continued support.
Memo Gidley is a driver who truly came from living on a boat in California, to driving in IndyCar just seven years later…. only to suffer a major accident in January, 2014, that that he’s still recovering from. Despite this, Jose Guillermo can tell some awesome stories, ranging from his recovery, to being smuggled in to the country, to growing up on a boat with guys named “Bugle Tom.” Dinner was delivered by Sol Food in Mill Valley, California, with the music of Slightly Stoopid sending us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for the continued support.
Marshall Pruett is a journalist who didn’t start that way, and it shows because he has an understanding of the sport and technical aspects that make him one of the most respected reporters in the paddock. Starting as a shop grunt and eventually going to “the other side of pit wall,” we learn about jobs outside of racing, the WWE, 80’s rap and he even managed to sneak in a few quotes from Bill Burr. Lunch was served at The Smoking Pig in Fremont, California, with the music of I See Hawks in LA sending us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for the continued support.
Paul Pfanner has uniquely succeeded in the business of motorsports, which makes us wonder why he took the time for us. Not only did the guy start Racer Magazine, but he runs a very successful marketing and consultancy business that has carved a rare niche for him as a Captain of the industry… but the dude still has a good sense of humor and you see why he’s so respected. Breakfast was served at The Citrus Cafe in Tustin, California, with the music of Stoney Spring sending us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for the continued support.
Erik Valdez is a true working actor, having starred in television shows such as Graceland, a little show called General Hospital, and more. A true racer at the core, we cover everything from the parallels between both industries, calling him out on actor nonsense, and how Zach Morris once beat him on the track. Dinner was served at The Canoe House in South Pasadena, California, with the music of Elle Carpenter sending us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for the continued support.