|Guy Fieri with Indy 500 pace car Image/Musgrave|
MODERATOR: Guy, you showed up here yesterday morning, we treated you like a race car driver. The first thing you got to do was give a physical at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. How was that first impression here?
GUY FIERI: I didn't go through all the physical that the guys go through. They said they have to strip all the way down, I'm like: "Wow, that's great. I'm glad we're passing that piece." It was great, though. Everybody has been so friendly. I understand why this is such a popular race, not just by the fans and the media, but by the drivers. Everybody is so hospitable. Indianapolis just rolls out the red carpet. I've been texting my friends and emailing and tweeting and everybody. They're like, "What's it like?" And I said you just can't get it. From television, it just gives you like one-tenth of what the experience is, and if you haven't been to a race, then you are missing it. This is a lifetime event to come to.
|Sunrise over Indianapolis Motor Speedway Image/Musgrave|
FIERI: Well, you know, when we shot here -- and this is kind of my theory on places like Indianapolis. When you find an area that has a chance to get real cold, and we were here for the Super Bowl with no snow, which was crazy, but people spend time indoors when you get an area that has a lot of history. So when you start compiling those kinds of pieces and being in the Midwest and start adding it up, you really start to find some real culture in food; and not just like Midwestern culture like a steak-and-potatoes place. We went to St. Elmo's last night, which was really good. Had a great dry-aged steak, 28-day dried steak. If you haven't had that, by the way, dry aging is the way to roll. The culinary tips will now start coming out. But it's been great. We've had a really nice experience. Everybody is so genuine and so cool. Like when we came for the Super Bowl this year, although it was just pandemonium, it was just a really nice environment and a lot of real friendly people. I'm always encouraging people to come here and try out the DDD joints.
MUSGRAVE-Q: Did you get to try the shrimp cocktail at St. Elmo's?
|St. Elmo's Shrimp Cocktail Image/Musgrave|
FIERI-A: I'm sorry, did I try it three times did you say? (Laughter) Have I completely cleansed my sinuses from 400 pounds of horseradish?
MUSGRAVE-Q: Did you get to try 1933?
FIERI-A: I did not get to try 1933. I was there with my buddy, Brandon Bernstein, who is a Top Fuel dragster and drag racer. It's his favorite place. So every time I come to town, Brandon says, "We've got to go to St. Elmo's." So we enjoyed it so much, we're going back tonight, so we'll be there for round two.
FIERI: It happened a couple times. So JR and I -- and what a great guy. Talk about a legend of legends. And he's so in it and understands it and gets it. I was joking yesterday, saying, "Just let him take and run that car with everybody." I would just love to see he could run that ZR1. We came out of the pits at about 80 and came into that little side track there, and we were flying. I'm stuck to the side of the window not knowing if I was going to make the first turn. It was just a really cool experience. We talked about the track. We talked about the lines. We talked about when to get in it, when to get out of it, just all of these key things. It was like driving school 101 times a thousand. He just took the time with me and explained things. And I've always been a car freak, so I understood a lot of the components. But then what happened is we were driving around, he says, "OK, now you do it." That was quick. So we go through it, I drive. And he kind of, he says: "Really good. I like that." And he says: "All right, now you're done. Get out." So we stop in the middle of the track and he says, "Now let me show you." So he gave me like a little beginning driving lesson. I drove, then he gets in it. That's when we took Turn 4 at 125, 130 miles an hour in a street car; a ZR1 but a street car. I'm like, "We're never going to survive this corner." Came right out of it. He looked at me and said, "That's how you do it." Amen.
MODERATOR: Have you thought a little bit, or has anybody talked to you a little bit about what you'll see tomorrow morning? Obviously, the place has been relatively empty. You're going to come here tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of --
FIERI: Empty? Were you here yesterday for Carb Day?
MODERATOR: Wait until you're here tomorrow, I guess is my point. So you're going to go into Turn 1, and have they explained to you this place that's so big is going to feel small and intimate?
FIERI: It was a cross between Disneyland and a Rolling Stones concert yesterday. I mean, everything from kids to rockers yesterday. It was out of bounds. So many people. As we were driving around, my team from Chevy, who has been super-awesome about this whole experience, as they're were driving giving me like some real culture, went to the Museum and did all those pieces, and went to the basement of the Museum, by the way, it was just, oh, man. We got to see it with the lights on, which is I guess is not how it normally goes. But they said, "Oh, yeah, this knoll and this golf course and that area and this thing and that tree people will be in." I'm like, "Get out." They said it's going to be just packed, over 300,000 fans.
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her new column, Infused, on FoodandDrinkDigital.com and as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Gotta Go is published on www.BroadwayWorld.com and in M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.