Dinner with Racers

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Mark All
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We’re pretty sure he doesn’t need a description, but Paul Tracy is one of the most iconic characters of the IndyCar and former ChampCar scene. The “thrill from West Hill,” this Canadian burst on to the scene as the ultimate checkers or wreckers type of driver, with a wild driving style that saw him win often, or crash trying. Driving for names like Penske and Newman/Haas, Paul’s career settled in when he became part of the Team Kool Green program, kind of winning the 2002 Indianapolis 500, and ultimately driving Forsythe Racing where he would finally take his much sought after first championship. This two-part episode takes us throughout his career, including some of the funniest moments, the most tragic, and everything in between. Dinner was served at Dominick’s Steakhouse in Scottsdale, AZ, with the music of Wes Sp8 and the Apollo taking us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great MDX.
It’s Rick Mears, do you really need a description? He grew up in Bakersfield as an amateur off-road racer… then somehow  he became a driver for Roger Penske’s IndyCar program…. then somehow won the race 4 times. How did that happen? Well we have the story in two parts. Dinner courtesy of Palomino in Indianapolis, IN.. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great MDX.
Randy 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.
It’s Josef Newgarden, INDYCAR CHAMPION Josef Newgarden, what do you want from us!!?? Josef’s story is not unlike many champions… he found success early, but like so many other the journey up to the higher ranks didn’t go as planned, including literally going to a test where he never got to drive because the sponsor never paid. Yup, those kind of stories. Somehow, it worked out though. After winning the Indy Lights championship, Josef found a great home at Sarah Fisher-turned-Ed Carpenter racing, and eventually driving for Roger Penske where he won a championship in his first year. Yeah, he’s pretty good… and he’s funny… and good looking… we hate him. Dinner was served at Brickhouse Tavern in Davidson, North Carolina, with the music of the Avett Brothers taking us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great MDX.
Continuing the celebration of our sportscar roots, it doesn’t get any better than Ozz Negri. Born to modest means, Ozz’s career was started with the strangest stroke of luck that’s more fit for a Hallmark movie, but he took the opportunity and ran with it… embarking on a 30-year career in which he’s had to fight for every opportunity he had. It paid off though, as a winner of The Rolex 24 at Daytona, Petit Le Mans, and honestly one of the nicest and most liked guys in the sport. Lunch was served at Viva Brazil in Hollywood, Florida, with music by Armen Balyan. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great car.
Chances are you already know the name, but it when it comes to legends of NASCAR, Bobby Allison is about as big as they come. Often known as the one guy who could take it to The King himself, Richard Petty, Bobby Allison led the “Alabama Gang” in to the premier levels of NASCAR in its infancy, winning three Daytona 500’s and one championship along the way. Oh yeah, and he’s in the NASCAR Hall of Fame, so there’s that.  Lunch was served at The Midway Boathouse Grill in Mooresville, North Carolina, with the music of Charles Mancini taking us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great car.
UNCLE BOBBY!!!  Chances are if you’re a fan of our show, you probably know Bobby Unser, does he really need a description? Three-time Indy 500 winner, 17 Pikes Peak wins, and a post-driving career that included being one of the lead commentators during IndyCar’s heyday. IT’S UNCLE BOBBY!!! This episode may not be appropriate for young ears. Dinner was served at Pappadeaux’s in Albuquerque, NM with the music of Anna Volpe taking us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great car.
We FINALLY got a motorcycle guy… and who better than Mr. Roger Hayden. One of the best motorcycle racers in the country, Roger has won many times in the top US category, MotoAmerica’s Superbike championship, in addition to having raced in MotoGP and also winning the Supersport championship. Part of the famous Hayden family who all hail from Owensboro, Kentucky, we decided to stop by on our drive from Atlanta to Indianapolis, and couldn’t be happier with trip. Roger talks about his brother Tommy, his brother Nicky, like as a factory rider for Suzuki, and of course…. the one… the only… JRP. WHO? Listen and find out. Lunch was served at Moonlite BBQ in Owensboro, Kentucky, with the music of the Station taking us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great MDX.
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.
Todd Bodine is one of the more endearing personalities in NASCAR, so he seemed an obvious choice to call up when we passed through North Carolina. Part of the famous Bodine family, Todd started his career as a mechanic, then a race-winning Crew Chief, and then a driver who rose all the way to the Cup ranks. As a driver, he’s perhaps most known as a multi-time champion of the NASCAR Truck Series, and then currently enjoys his time as a television analyst and overall ambassador of the sport.  Dinner was served at Caruso’s in Mooresville, North Carolina, with the music of Vanilla Woods taking us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great car.
WIIIIIIIICKEEEEEEEENNNNNNNSSSSSSSS!!! That is all. Another one of those all-star Canadians, young Robert Wickens went from a junior category driver in North America, to a junior category driver in Europe that won everything. Eventually he became a Mercedes factory driver in DTM before finally moving on to IndyCars this year, where he’s had one of the most standout rookie seasons in history. Recorded during the first week of practice at Indianapolis, lunch was served at the legendary Charlie Brown’s, just a few yards from the circuit. Closed with the music of Saturn ‘Till June, “Tiffany’s Curse.” Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great MDX.
If you’re a fan of IndyCar Racing from the 1980’s and 1990’s, then you know the name Dick Simon. Dick started as a businessman-turned-driver, and then team owner, who was famous for putting together incredibly quick programs on extremely modest budgets. His dinner, however, was an unexpected surprise, because this guy has some of the craziest stories we’ve ever heard. We can’t explain it, just listen. Dinner was served at San Juan Hills Golf Club in San Juan Hills, CA. Thanks again to Continental Tire and Acura for making it all happen.
Our first ever live show! We decided to record all the antics as we fumbled around our first attempt at doing something live for the fans. Recorded live in Victory Circle during the weekend of the Six Hours of the Glen, join a multitude of guests as we discover nothing important, but guests and fans enjoyed it nonetheless. Guests included Juan Pablo Montoya, Ricky Taylor, Razzle Dazzle, Jeff Braun, Patrick Long, Mike Hull, Dan Binks, Ben Keating, Jordan Taylor, Alessandro Balzan, Andy Lally, Pippa Mann, Earl Bamber, Bill Riley, Michael Printup, Chad McCumbee, Patrick Gallagher, Marc Miller, 300 fans at Watkins Glen, and a guy in a tiger head. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great MDX.
If you enjoyed listening to our live show at Watkins Glen, well what if we added live exotic animals?? Appearing at the final Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America, we decided to give the fans something new… inviting the stars of that weekends IMSA race to help us present a live petting zoo. Guests included Jordan Taylor, a ferret, Justin Bell, a monitor lizard, Tommy Milner, a tarantula, Renger van der Zande, Katherine Legge, a hairless guinea pig, Justin Marks, Mike Shank, a giant bunny, Laurens Vanthoor, a chinchilla, Beaux Barfield, a burmese python, Bryan Seller, a giant tortoise, Jeroen Bleekemolen, a giant frog, and all the randomness you would expect. Free pizza was served for all! Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great car. Music by Kaisor Sosa.
Geoff Bodine is one of NASCAR’s great characters from the 1980’s through the 2000’s. A winner of the Daytona 500, Geoff was the first driver to get Rich Hendrick a win, beginning the dynasty that we know today. Competing with the best of them, Geoff’s story didn’t stop behind the wheel, serving as a cautionary tale toward team ownership, having taken over Alan Kulwicki’s team after his passing, suffering a massive accident in the NASCAR Truck Series, and even spearheading a gold medal-winning bobsled project. If you like these stories, you should also check out our Tim Richmond episode, where Geoff tells even more stories. Dinner was served at Slack Tide in Grant, Fl. Thanks again to Continental Tire and Acura for making it all happen.
Pierre Kleinubing is probably the most decorated touring car racer that’s active today. A competitor in IMSA and World Challenge competition, Pierre has won something like 78 championships in different touring car divisions, including most notably with Acura and Honda by virtue of Real-Time Racing. A guy who lives for racing and time with his family, we learn about his time in Brazil, and current life as a Dad. Lunch was served at Flanagan’s in Pompano Beach, Florida, with music by Judas Booth. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great car.
Alan Kulwicki is a true legend of NASCAR, and on April 1, 2018, we remember him 25 years after he was lost. For both of our hosts, Alan has been a long-time hero, yet there really hasn’t been a lot of stories told on NASCAR’s last true independent champion. With that in mind, we went on a special trip throughout March, 2018, that spanned 4,000 miles across 5 states, meeting with 12 people along the way to talk solely about the man. In our fourth of four episodes, we look back on that fateful day of April 1, 1993. Hear the accounts of Tom Roberts, Peter Jellen, and Paul Andrews on just what it was they went through. Following his legacy, we hear from “Captain Bob,” who was instrumental in starting Kulwicki Park in Greenfield, WI, Tom Roberts on the Kulwicki Driver Development Program, as well as Tom Jensen on the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the bid to get him inducted. Closing remarks from Doug Mayr, Tom Roberts, Paul Andrews, and Father Dale Grubba. Help us support the bid to get Alan in to the NASCAR Hall of Fame by visiting nascar.com/halloffame and by using #AK4HoF in social media.
Legendary driver Andy Lally discusses everything from how people in NASCAR cheated better than him, late-80’s wrestling, and virtually no talk of sportscar racing at all, despite the fact he’s a four-time Rolex 24 winner and three-time champion in the former GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. Dinner was served at Ammazza in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, with music from The Blue Hours (available on iTunes) closing us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for making it all possible.
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.
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.
Morgan Shepherd is one of the longest-running staples in NASCAR history. As a driver, Morgan ran with some of the biggest legends throughout the 1970’s, 80’s, 90’s, all the way to today. In fact, he’s STILL out there driving, currently the oldest active driver in the series, competing with his own team in the Xfinity ranks. A unique character off the track, Morgan is synonymous with roller skating, owning a menagerie of odd pets, and a strong personal faith. Lunch was served at Four Peas in a Pod in Conover, NC. Thanks again to Continental Tire and Acura for making it all happen.
Decal. Just listen. Dinner was served at Don Julio’s in Tampa, FL, with the music of Armen Balyan taking us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great car.
Dave Despain is one of the most beloved on-air personalities for anyone who follows American racing. An unapologetic motorcycle lover, Dave began his career as a local AM radio DJ, who somehow managed to work his way in to broadcast television, all the way to becoming the host of many popular US motorsport shows, including a favorite of Ryan and Sean’s, “Saturday Night Thunder,” and then his most famous gig, Wind Tunnel. Beyond being a state of the sport and one of the most known pro’s, he’s managed to balance the line between being professional and respected without ever losing his edge as an almost counter-culture motorsport icon.  Dinner was served at The Station in Athens, Georgia, with the music of Butterscotch Stanley taking us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great car.
Terry Lee Earwood is a legend within the racing community as THE driver coach. While an accomplished drag racer and touring car driver, Terry’s real name came from helming a number of driving schools and arrive and drive programs, including serving as the chief driving instructor at Skip Barber for several decades. He’s seen it all and coached it all, including some of the biggest names in racing today. Dinner was served at Laishley Crab House in Punta Gorda, FL, with the music of Marza Panther taking us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for all of their support, and Acura for providing a great car.
Jeff Braun is one of the most experienced and respected engineers in all of motorsports, and now we know why. Not only does this guy have incredible stories, but the dude literally lives in his race shop in Ovalo, Texas (see: middle of nowhere). Dinner was served in his kitchen courtesy of Jeff and his wife, Diane, with the music of Double Naught Spycar playing us out. Thanks to Continental Tire for making this all possible.
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Podcast Details

Started
Nov 8th, 2015
Latest Episode
Feb 14th, 2020
Release Period
Daily
No. of Episodes
157
Avg. Episode Length
About 2 hours
Explicit
No

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