So, many of you are prisoners in your home with kids, dogs, cats, ferrets, and in-laws. But what if you could pick the person you had to be quarantined with for the next week or so?
For the sake of keeping this a racing theme, we’ll stick with drivers, owners, officials and TV people of IndyCar. And if this makes you mad, too bad. Lighten up and laugh a little.
MARIO ANDRETTI : You could spend a week downstairs in the bar just looking at photos on the wall, and nobody is more fun to talk to. He’s a great storyteller, and he’s got so many historical memories that you might not want to leave.
TONY KANAAN: Nobody is more fun to hang out with than the old man and his pretty wife Lauren, but there is one drawback. If you stayed with T.K. you have to get up at 4:30 a.m. to work out, run 10 miles at 7 a.m., ride a bike for 50 miles at 9, eat two power bars for lunch, work out again at 2 pm, take a nap, go for a swim at 5 pm, power lift at 7 and go to bed at 8 o’clock.
A.J. FOYT: You will be issued a Trump hat upon your arrival and then spend every waking minute at his ranch in Del Rio, Texas learning how to operate a bulldozer and adding “Momma’s Boy” to your vernacular. You’ll eat bloody steaks, Blue Bell ice cream, salted butter and you’ll like it.
CHIP GANASSI: You will play a game that will mentally wear you out. Every two minutes Chip will say: “What else?” and if you don’t have a new story or subject matter to hold his short attention span it will soon become obvious why he’s been single for the past 20 years.
GRAHAM RAHAL: A great host with a captivating partner (Courtney), young Rahal would be good company. The only downside would be the fact you couldn’t leave until you promised to buy a car.
LEIGH DIFFEY: A friendly bloke who can make you laugh, especially when he yells “bring the action” when his wife is simply serving dessert.
ROGER PENSKE: You don’t eat breakfast or lunch (a waste of time) but dinner is always first-class and you are allowed to sleep from 2-6 a.m. Small talk is not permitted unless it’s an idea about improving the Indy 500, and phone calls are limited to Fortune 500 members. But the good news? Kathy Penske is always up for a good conversation.
BOBBY UNSER: Never a dull moment at the Unser house, but you have to cut a deal upon arrival and agree that there is 10 minutes of mandatory silence every hour because after he explains the theory of relativity, how he invented air and gas, why Andy Granatelli was lucky to meet him and the reason his second wife was meaner than “a bag of snakes,” you will need some quiet time.
PARNELLI JONES: A great host with a great home and view of L.A., the only requirement for visitors are earplugs because he watches Fox News 24/7 at volume 20.
MIKE HULL: An interesting, intelligent IndyCar lifer who never met a conversation he didn’t like. He and Marshall Pruett are planning their 367th podcast and leaning towards making it longer than Le Mans.
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE: His wife (Becky) is an actor but The Mayor’s daily persona plays well on television, radio and internet shows. They’ve closed Toronto down until July, but put Hinch on Canadian cable every day and he’ll cheer up his countrymen. I’ll bet he can even find something funny to say about Sam Schmidt and McLaren.
JOHNNY RUTHERFORD: One of the great memories and storytellers ever, Lone Star J.R. is still one of IndyCar’s best ambassadors and would welcome the company. But a $100 deposit would be required at the door – for food and beverage – since the three-time Indy 500 winner has never bought a meal for anyone in is life.
TOWNSEND BELL: Nobody is smarter and he will remind you of that every 15 minutes until you run out of his house screaming: “danger zone.”
SIMON PAGENAUD: The “Friendly Frog” is a good conversationalist, probably prepares some great French dishes and is about as personable as anyone in motorsports. But the only thing that concerns me is that he seems to spend more time with his dog than his wife, Hailey.
ZACH VEACH: Nobody nicer in the IndyCar paddock, and nobody who would be a better host for a week.
RUSS THOMPSON: The king of stats for NBC and a bona-fide IndyCar historian, Russ has over 10,000 photos and slides (all with a story) and you would be easily entertained.
PAUL TRACY: Be fun to watch all the reruns of races he threw away, and his 2002 Indy 500 victory.
DEREK DALY: Run the replay of Channel 8’s character assassination on a continuous loop and then get out a calculator to figure out how much he’s eventually going to be awarded.
GORDON JOHNCOCK: Spend a week chopping wood in upstate Michigan on Mortimer’s forestry farm, eat frog legs for lunch and marvel at how hard this 83-year-old works. But take a bullhorn so the two-time Indy winner can hear you when you talk.
KEITH BADGER: The longtime IndyCar mechanic hates almost as many people as I do, and his diatribes on marketing people, race engineers and golfers who refuse to throw clubs will keep you on stitches.
WILL POWER: Play his drums, chase his son around the yard, race on his sim and come to realize that Willy P. is a funny S.O.B.
ME: You’re not invited. I’m an asshole. Just ask A.J.