Celebrity Racing Team Owners – Patrick Dempsey / CJ Wilson – /SHAKEDOWN

LEO PARENTE: Today, celebrity team owner interviews with Patrick Dempsey and major league baseball athlete CJ Wilson Two stories from Petit Le Mans that went beyond the normal racing news, well, just because We’ll get to the news news somehow, some way, somewhere, like how the European rebellion team cleaned house at Petit Le Mans versus the ALMS teams Well, really not ALMS finished second and third with level five racing They raced the P2 class And ALMS finished fifth overall with their Nissan DeltaWing in the unclassified “oh my god how cool is that” class And more non-ALMS news, like there were so many Grand Am people in a Petit Le Mans paddock, I had to check my credentials to remember what paddock I was walking And yes, there was non-ALMS racing as well this weekend Like in the Gold Coast V8 Supercars race, with a bunch of Indy car racers that went there to race, versus Petit But at Petit Le Mans, I was in interview mode So I found two team owners that are worth listening to their story Because maybe they’re not deserving of the assumptions one could make about celebrity owners So when we come back, we talk racing with team owners Patrick Dempsey, CJ Wilson, but not Paris Hilton Remember this MotoGP deal? Oh my god [CAR ENGINE] Celebrity team owners They’ve been part of racing forever, all over the globe So Americans Patrick Dempsey and CJ Wilson are really nothing new But celebrity ownership aside, it’s how these teams are built– their commitment, seriousness, and teamwork– that’s what makes for success In recent decades in the US, we’ve had past celebrity owners like these, and you know a lot of them Steve McQueen His movie “Le Mans” was iconic, but it set him down the path to real racing Here he is in Sebring in 1970 in his Porsche, fighting Mario Andretti’s Ferrari for the win Mario won He finished P2 Mario did not want a movie star to win the iconic 12-hour And then James Garner His movie “Grand Prix” launched his interest in racing as a team owner Went to the Daytona 24 in 1969 with his Lola T70 coupes and his AIR team He also raced Corvettes in GT The Smothers Brothers, a ’70s musical comedy act, they loved racing too, first with an Oldsmobile factory drag racing team Everyone does sports cars They race Porsche And I remember the SCCA Formula 5,000 cars from the Smothers Brothers A Shelby V8 plugged into the back of a exotic formula chassis Paul Newman loves racing Started with his movie called “Winning,” which begat his name on a Can-Am car from the 1970s, called, of all things, the Honker But he built Newman Racing Stayed in Can-Am with his own cars and teams Here’s a March from, I think, the ’80s And then he partnered with Carl Haas Paul Newman, Carl Haas, and, of all people, Mario Andretti, they go Indy car racing A lot of legend, a lot of accomplishment they, still going And his own racing This is an IMSA Datsun Z car, a very, very exotic background I believe there’s twin turbos and intercoolers all plugged into the back of the car, almost 1,000 horsepower back in the day He drove it He raced I think he won Le Mans in a Porsche one time And we all know others have raced, other celebrities Letterman with Ray Hall, the BMWs that were at Petit Le Mans in their Indy car, all because of that 500 thing Michael Jordan, our basketballer, has his bike team And from time to time, there have been NFLers running NASCAR teams and getting their money involved in that But we are talking about Patrick Dempsey first We’re going to Interview him You know him from his TV shows, movies past– you’ll probably give me a phone call about that shot– and currently, his Dempsey Racing program, which, while it has the Grand Am backing, is really all about what he did at Petit Le Mans and the American Le Mans, racing this Lola Really a serious piece of kit with the Judd engine in the back It’s a P2 car and it goes pretty quick The next interview will be with CJ Wilson, our baseball star He started a team to develop young talent You’ll hear about that Primarily racing the Playboy Mazda MX-5 cup Just won the championship with Steve McAleer He also races in Grand Am But enough about me Let’s go to the interviews and listen to what our two celebrity owners have to say Paul Newman, James Garner, Steve McQueen did a Le Mans the movie, but you’re in a quest to go to Le Mans PATRICK DEMPSEY: Right, I have gone to Le Mans, so it’s nice to be going back to Le Mans You look at Newman was second there and drove very well I mean, that’s it for endurance racing Le Mans is the ultimate LEO PARENTE: Did that inspire Dempsey Racing, or where did this whole thing come from? PATRICK DEMPSEY: Lunacy, I think, was the thing that inspired me, because to be a team owner is a lot of work I mean, we spend 90% of our time hustling for money It’s harder than the film business, in many ways It just sort of fell into place It started out with what was Hypersport at the time It was sort of going under and I had an opportunity to come in and buy a lot of the assets, and then to go racing

And then one thing led to the next, and suddenly I found myself as a team owner And thank God I was partnered with somebody who understands business as well as Joe Foster does LEO PARENTE: So I got into racing because I saw “Grand Prix” with James Garner Did those movie guys inspire you? Or was it something separate? PATRICK DEMPSEY: No, not so much I grew up racing My dad was a car owner, short-track racer in Maryland We were always big fans of racing– Indy 500, Formula One, Daytona– all that stuff So I’ve always been a fan of racing And then I had an opportunity to go get my certificate, my SCCA, because my wife got tired of me watching races on the weekend And so I went up to Skip Barber’s class, his school, at the Mazda raceway And then I came down here about 10 years ago and started doing the Panoz Racing School And that’s how I got started, racing in their series, and then got the bug completely from there Because what happens with those schools– and I think this is the best way to go racing– is that you get your SCCA license, they give you the technique that you need, and then they go off into those series– are great And that’s how I got started, and then I got deeper and deeper into it LEO PARENTE: When you approach the work of acting, your mindset, is it the same as when you approach racing the car? PATRICK DEMPSEY: I think there are a lot of similarities to being private in a public world that apply Certainly you see the energy and all of that that’s going on here You have to disengage and really focus on what you’re doing in that moment consistently and not worrying about what happened in the past, or what’s happening in the future, but what’s happening right here and right now And I think a lot of that training, a lot of those skills I’ve developed over the years acting helped me tremendously in the car Conditioning is the next big thing, because then that supports your mental approach and the consistency mentally And then seat time and experience LEO PARENTE: Last question I could argue that managing a career in acting is probably similar to managing a carer in racing What would you tell a young racer to manage his or her career that you’ve learned from acting? PATRICK DEMPSEY: Well, I think certainly, the more education you have, the better off you’re going to be Whether it be business or marketing, and certainly engineering, I think all those things really will help you in a career How you deal with the media is really important because your sponsors are looking for a presentation So you have to handle yourself in that way And you have to develop all those sides of your personality And you have to be in the car and you have to be good You have to be, you know, having results LEO PARENTE: Not going to play can you top this, but I’d argue tenacity, or maybe survival Talk to me about that in your world PATRICK DEMPSEY: You have to want it, more than anything else There is no failure You can’t accept failure You can’t accept defeat You have to really believe or have the desperation to not quit And I think that’s what– I just survived because there was no other alternative I had to succeed LEO PARENTE: Perfect Your team’s about to qualify for Petit We’ll let you go PATRICK DEMPSEY: Thank you LEO PARENTE: Thank you PATRICK DEMPSEY: My pleasure CJ WILSON: Congratulations, Bud You deserve it LEO PARENTE: Good job So CJ, that’s the perfect place to start We’re here with your racing team You just won the Mazda Cup Championship, the MX-5 It seems like baseball and motor racing are two passions of yours Pitching for the California Angels, running a team here now, winning championships How did all this passion start for each one? CJ WILSON: Both at a young age I first played Wiffle ball when I was a kid with my dad the backyard, and I first started watching racing with my dad as well He got me into both I had the posters of the cars on one side of the room, and then I had the posters of baseball players on the other I always knew that I loved cars, and I was really into that, but financially we couldn’t afford to race as a family So I was really determined I was like, you know what, if I do well enough at baseball, maybe I could get cars And then there we go So once I got to a certain age, it all worked out And I was able to start racing myself, and got my license and everything like that, and then it kind of grew from there LEO PARENTE: So where are you in the license food chain? How far up? CJ WILSON: I have a national license, or whatever, so I could get a Grand Am license or anything like that if I wanted to LEO PARENTE: And without getting into contract details, right now our focus is pitching and playing ball CJ WILSON: Yeah, I mean, I have four more years on a contract with Anaheim, so I can’t really race or anything like that because of that So in the meantime, we’re just trying to grow the team and promote people like Elliott and Emily and– LEO PARENTE: McAleer CJ WILSON: Well, I was going to say somebody else But obviously, Stevan just won the championship, and that’s the best feeling you can have as an owner, is to watch your guy go out and dominate a whole season and come through and win And it was really great for me LEO PARENTE: So we define them both as passion, but I have a feeling there’s a business side to this What do you want to do with the racing? CJ WILSON: I think the biggest thing is, you have to take racing seriously Because not only is it– it’s not painting It’s not golf If you’re out there driving, then something bad can happen

if you let your mind go away And baseball is kind of the same way You have to be focused when you pitch, you have to be focused when you drive And we have kind of– we’re racers All of us are racers Everybody that works for the team, everybody that started the team either was actually a racer themselves or has been working in racing for so long that everybody has that direction already And so we’re just looking to start our way up, just like I did from baseball You go through the minor leagues And we start people in the MX-5 Cup, and then we have ST for Grand Am now And then depending on how the merger thing works out in 2014, then we’ll take another step there But we have to make sure that we do everything the right way, because otherwise it could be too big too soon, and then we don’t want to fall on our face LEO PARENTE: Five years from now, where do you want this team to be? CJ WILSON: I just want people to look around the paddock and say, like, that we have one of the best programs, out of any level, regardless of the level we’re at And I think out of the MX-5 Cup, we for sure have the best team We have the best pit crew We have the best program, the best set up And I think it all goes from there Winning is its own attitude Winning is its own motivation And if we get everybody used to that, then it’s really going to give us a really good indicator of where we can go LEO PARENTE: Connect the dots, and no offense to baseball when I ask this question It seems like as a pitcher, it’s an individual control thing You’re making things happen for the team, but it’s all about you In racing, where you’ve got this team, but you’ve got the driver in control, how does all this play, and what have you learned from each one? CJ WILSON: Well, it’s very similar I mean, the racer and the pitcher are the ones that really bear the brunt of any sort of bad things that happen, any unfortunate circumstances If the wheel comes off the car, you’re the one that gets the DNF as the driver If the shortstop drops the ball, and that’s why you lose the game, he gets an error, but you get the loss And in the paper, it’s your loss, and it is your loss as a driver, so it’s kind of a similar pressure You get a lot of the glory as a pitcher, but I think race car drivers are more appreciative of the behind the scenes stuff than the baseball players are LEO PARENTE: Are there coaching things from your baseball experience that you impart to guys like McAleer before he gets in the car? CJ WILSON: I do I talk to them about having a sports psychology routine Because baseball– and any other sport, really– is very similar, because you’re going to have a situation where you make a mistake You can’t unmake that mistake You just have to be perfect the next segment of turns So if you’re here in a situation like with Stevan, where he really can’t afford to make a mistake The championship is on the line So he has to go out there and race clean It’s more important– because of the points, the way the points work, he doesn’t have to win the race And it’s important to keep that in mind constantly Just like with baseball, you have to worry about your pitch count, or maybe where you are in the season And if you have a big lead in the standings, then maybe you don’t try to take out that guy at home plate on a slide or something and break your leg LEO PARENTE: Once you develop the skill, how much of throwing a baseball is intuitive versus conscious thinking? And in racing, how much of it is the same way? CJ WILSON: It’s something that you really have to understand on a– I mean for me on an individual level Everybody has different ways that they do it Some people are super technical, and they get into engineering And they’re like, I really want to feel the springs I want to try different things to get a feel for what does what And baseball is the same thing Some people tinker, and they say, if I hold the ball like this or like that, what does it do? And if it’s humid today, does the ball sink more? I get into the science behind it, personally So I really like that And then after a certain level of understanding or, I don’t know, I guess expertise, then it just all becomes an instinct, like you said And when you pick up something new, like a guitar, that’s neither a baseball nor a steering wheel, then you’re kind of in between You’re like, oh man But it’s actually helping you Everything you learn helps your brain learn new things So whether it’s the more tracks you drive, the more stadiums you pitch in, the more batters you face, the more turns you take, the more cars you drive, all these things actually make you better at all the things, as long as you’re focused when you’re doing it LEO PARENTE: Baseball is your focus You’re not driving in a race car Are you all over Sim games? CJ WILSON: I love Sim games We do “Simraceway.” Our team does “Simraceway” And “Simraceway” is cool because they have an F1 style wheel It’s got all these gadgets on it and stuff like that It’s really neat I’ve done “iRacing” and all the other stuff in the past as well The “Simraceway” is really portable, so it’s nice for me I also have a big simulator at home that I get in a couple times a week, during the off-season or during the season when I have time And I love that Although, typically I’m not driving an MX-5 cup I’m driving, like, an F1 car or something ridiculous, way above my level LEO PARENTE: Well maybe level, but eventually CJ Racing will be up there with it CJ WILSON: That’s a goal I mean, I think for me as a baseball player, when I was a kid, I looked at it and I said, I really want to play in the All-Star game I want to win the World Series, all these things Really, winning the World Series and winning a Cy Young are the only things I haven’t done yet that I set out to do I won the American League championship a couple times, been to the playoffs a bunch of times So for me, with racing, I think we want to go to Le Mans We want to win Le Mans That’s the biggest goal you can have in racing, right? We have a long way to go But we know that if we take the right steps, and we don’t

take a derailment, then we should be OK It’s just a matter of developing and being patient And I’m still relatively young as a team owner, so I think our team has a long way to grow And with people like Elliott and Stevan, their talent is just going to grow with age LEO PARENTE: Last question Three role models, role model for baseball, role model for driving a race car– but you’re not driving it right now, California Angels– and role model as a team owner And why CJ WILSON: Team owner, I’ll start with Roger Penske, because he’s done it better than anybody His business model for how he did it is kind of the way that I see myself doing it He went from driver to owner to car dealership to multi-car dealership to other stuff to then big teams and whatever LEO PARENTE: Have you met him? Have you talked to him? CJ WILSON: I’ve talked to him very seldom, like in passing He’s a very busy guy He owns 160 car dealerships, and he owns all that other stuff, so he doesn’t have time for people like me Which is totally understandable I get it But he’s done everything He’s done everything cool in racing and business I go to his dealerships and look at the cars when we’re in spring training And he’s got the prettiest dealerships, and I’m like one day, maybe one day, right? But as a baseball player, I think it’s hard to have one guy because there’s so many different facets of the game I really love Sandy Koufax and what he did over that window of time He was the best pitcher ever for five years But then you look at Mariano Rivera and what he did for 20 years, and that’s obviously impressive as well So there’s a lot of different stuff there As a driver, everybody loves Ayrton Senna, unless they’re big Schumacher fans So it’s either Senna or Schumacher, I think, for my generation Because I was a kid when Ayrton was racing, and I was a kid when Michael started racing and started winning all those championships and just bludgeoning everybody I really like the Sebastian Vettel a lot I’m a big Red Bull fan And Jenson Button as well I like the F1 guys I like a lot of sports car guys that do F1 and F1 guys that do sports car I think that’s really great I really yearn for having a guy like Kimi Raikkonen or somebody like that drive one of the ALMS cars That, to me, gets my juices going to see that kind of stuff LEO PARENTE: How would you define your style of pitching in the mode of a race car driver? Are you [INAUDIBLE] like Senna or are you wild like Kimi? CJ WILSON: I think the thing I respect about Kimi– OK, this is what I got to say I love watching Kimi He’s a straight shooter He’ll give it right to you It might not be with any kind of inflection or personality But when he drives, he is committed And if he goes off, it’s straight Because he’s like, I’m going to hold it, and then bam, the car breaks loose I really respect that Senna drove with reckless abandon as well And if you read a lot of his stuff, he was very into sports psychology and this whole spiritual angle of improvement and learning And I really take that as a lot of motivation So for me, as a pitcher, I try to be cold when I’m pitching and not show a lot of emotion But I’m emotionally motivated, and that’s what really I think you have to be, in order to push through difficulties, whether it’s an elbow surgery or three, or some of the failures that you have on the big stage LEO PARENTE: Best of luck with the team This is awesome CJ WILSON: Thanks LEO PARENTE: Good going CJ WILSON: Can I just say one more thing– LEO PARENTE: Please CJ WILSON: –as a team owner? So one of things that we’re working on right now is we have this project that I’m doing for Thunderhill, which is the 25-hour race in California And we have a couple champions now that are going to be racing for our team We have Elliott, who won the Spec Miata scholarship last year We have Stevan, who just won MX-5 Cup this year Spencer Pigot, who has been doing F2000 the last couple years And Tristan Nunez, who won Amstel Light just a couple hours ago So all those kids are going to be in one car And it’s my job as the kind of consigliere there, the team guy, because I’m an individual sport guy that’s also a team guy So I’m going to try to work them together to work together, and get the most And hopefully they can actually help each other a lot They’re all very talented They all have a little bit a different style, personality wise and driving And I think it’s going to be the most exciting thing that our team does, other than win the championship this year, is to put those four super-talented young kids together and see what happens It’s going to be a really cool alchemy that I’m looking forward to LEO PARENTE: I’m going to say one more thing New topic Roger Penske will be calling you because you put four great drivers together for a great mega-team So, good job CJ WILSON: Well that’s the idea 10 years, you never know All those kids might be superstars And so hopefully, as our team grows, they’ll remember that day that they all drove together And people will be like, remember Spencer and Tristan and Elliott and Stevan? God, they all raced together, in one car, at a club race It’s the best thing ever LEO PARENTE: Ganassi and Penske will pay for more elbow surgery to keep you in baseball CJ WILSON: I mean, if we mop the floor with them– We’ll be in an MX-5 cup So someone’s going to show up in a GT3 cup car obviously, and smoke everybody LEO PARENTE: Good on ya CJ WILSON: All right Thanks LEO PARENTE: Thanks [MUSIC PLAYING]