Here’s how IndyStar’s Jim Ayello sees the IndyCar landscape as the 2018 season gets closer.
Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly will meet fans at viewing party
The public is invited to spend part of Valentine’s Day with IndyCar drivers Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly, but don’t expect Wednesday’s “The Amazing Race” viewing party to be a complete love-in.
Plenty of stress and tension is expected on the big screens at Downtown Kilroy’s, 201 S. Meridian St.
Rossi and Daly are one of five remaining duos in a season that began with 11 globe-trotting teams.
“Every second counts,” Daly said of the CBS reality show that challenges competitors to execute physical and mental feats in unfamiliar locales.
Rossi and Daly won two of the season’s first eight legs. The ninth and 10th legs will air Wednesday, followed by the 11th and 12th during the season finale on Feb. 21.
A musical challenge on last week’s episode revealed the close competition of “The Amazing Race’s” 30th season.
Six teams stalled in a Zimbabwe park, where the only way to advance was to learn a Shona-language song and then perform it with a band.
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“Poor Alex, he struggles with foreign accents and rhythm,” Daly said. “We just kept pushing each other: ‘Don’t worry, we can do this. No one’s bound to be musical wizards here.’ That’s the proudest we’ve been in the race. I’m really impressed we were able to get through it.”
Daly said mastering the song “Pasi Pano Pane Zviedzo” ranks as the most difficult challenge so far.
“It was a totally different language that neither of us had ever seen before,” he said. “And we had to learn a lot of words.”
The Kilroy’s viewing party is scheduled 7 to 11 p.m. Rossi and Daly will sign autographs from 7 to 8, and the show airs at 9.
Daly cited Iceland as his favorite destination through the first eight legs of the global scavenger hunt.
“Alex and I have been through (continental) Europe all our lives,” Daly said. “France, Belgium, Czech Republic, that was normal for us.”
Wednesday’s two-hour episode begins in Bahrain and moves to Thailand for its second half. A CBS promotional clip shows Rossi struggling to eat a bug during a challenge apparently set in Thailand.
If Daly and Rossi make it all the way to the winner’s circle, they will split a $1 million prize.
While Rossi drives for Andretti Autosport, Daly doesn’t have a full-time IndyCar gig for the upcoming season.
“That’s obviously a huge blow to my plan in life, but I don’t know what else could happen in the future,” said Daly, who isn’t ruling out his fifth start in the Indianapolis 500. “I would love to do more TV.”
“Amazing Race” viewers have been introduced to Daly’s personality through the Noblesville native’s quips and one-liners. One of his quotes gives the Feb. 14 episode its name: “The First Rule of Amazing Race Club.”
Daly said he and Rossi, billed as #TeamIndyCar on the show, had a friendly relationship with #TeamExtreme: pro skiers Jen Hudak and Kristi Leskinen.
No “Amazing Race” competitor had access to phones. They essentially were locked in hotel rooms when not navigating “speed bumps,” “detours” and “pit stops” as part of the contest.
“If the hotel had (English-language) television channels, that was awesome,” Daly said.
‘The Amazing Race’ Watch Party
>> WHEN: 7 to 11 p.m. Wednesday; episode airs 9 to 11 p.m on CBS affiliate WTTV-4.
>> WHERE: Kilroy’s Bar & Grill, 201 S. Meridian St.
>> ADMISSION: Free, ages 21 and older.
>> INFO: Visit KilroysIndy.com, or call (317) 638-9464.
Call IndyStar reporter David Lindquist at (317) 444-6404. Follow him on Twitter: @317Lindquist.
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