Cameras sent from celebrity gossip site TMZ pop up regularly when Verizon IndyCar Series drivers travel to New York and Los Angeles. So it was during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach last weekend.
After stopping Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver Graham Rahal on the street and dropping by the track to interview Team Penske driver Simon Pagenaud, TMZ posted its videos, which – as usual – prove the drivers are really good sports. Rahal and his wife, NHRA driver Courtney Force, easily handled pesky questions about when the newlywed couple will start a family. Pagenaud used his time on camera to plea for relief from ongoing comparisons to British actor Sacha Baron Cohen, who played the French character Jean Girard in 2006’s “Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.”
Racing Champ Simon Pagenaud — I'M NOT SACHA BARON COHEN … Please Stop https://t.co/CtbvapioTF
— TMZ (@TMZ) April 19, 2016
Also, how does one of NHRA’s top female athletes get listed simply as Rahal’s “famous” wife? We think she deserves a nod to her place in the sports world.
IndyCar Star & Famous Wife — We're Keeping Sperm In Neutral … Too Busy For Kids! (VIDEO) https://t.co/xMQZvdFfyQ
— TMZ (@TMZ) April 18, 2016
Maybe TMZ is good luck because Pagenaud went on to win in Long Beach. Third-place finisher Helio Castroneves started the party early for his teammate, soaking reporters, photographers and fans.
— Simon Pagenaud (@simonpagenaud) April 19, 2016
After the last bit of bubbly was downed and the Long Beach street course went back to operating as city streets, Dale Coyne Racing driver Conor Daly and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver James Hinchcliffe headed to the set of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” Since we have only one Mirror Ball trophy in the INDYCAR paddock so far (Helio’s), we hope this is an indication of things to come.
— Conor Daly (@ConorDaly22) April 18, 2016
Speaking of celebrations, Chip Ganassi Racing rookie Max Chilton his celebrated his 25th at Barber Motorsports Park on Thursday. Meanwhile, across the pond, the Queen of England was marking her 90th. Seems the festivities for Queen Elizabeth overshadowed the celebration for young Max, but he was OK with that.
Continuing the party theme, Ed Carpenter Racing’s stars did a little this week with their sponsor, Fuzzy’s Vodka. Ed Carpenter and Josef Newgarden pulled out a few of Fuzzy’s new 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 commemorative bottles and tried their bartending skills. Of course, they figured out how to turn that into a race, too.
— Laura Steele (@RealLauraSteele) April 20, 2016