The Great Racing Spectacle | Alexander Rossi + More | Talks at Google

[MUSIC PLAYING] [APPLAUSE] MIKE ABRAMS: All right Thanks, everyone, for being here For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Mike Abrams I’m going to be moderating today We’ve got three wonderful guests here So to my right, we have the driver of the 98 car You’re going to be starting in the third position The defending champion of the Indy 500 driving for Andretti Autosport, Alexander Rossi [APPLAUSE] Next to Alex, we have the driver of the number four car, starting in the 26th position This is your fourth Indy 500 Driving for AJ Foyt, Conor Daly [APPLAUSE] And last, but not least, I could do the introduction, but I think you can do it better I know you have a historic way of introducing yourself [LAUGHTER] RIC FLAIR: Hi, I’m Ric Flair [APPLAUSE] Host of the Snake Pit MIKE ABRAMS: MCing the Snake Pit this year So let’s start with an easy one There’s a lot of people here that probably are less familiar with the Indy 500 So for all three of you, what’s the 500 mean to you and the month of May in Indianapolis, in general? CONOR DALY: I’ll go first Well, the 500, for me, is my home race Born and raised in Indy, so I love it for that reason It’s always been sort of the Super Bowl, the World Series, everything combined, for me It’s just the biggest thing that we have And it’s a month long, so it’s awesome I love it Would mean the most to win that for me, as for any driver, I think But yeah, just an amazing event And if you haven’t been, for sure, I’d say give it a chance some day because it will surprise you MIKE ABRAMS: Alex, what about you? ALEXANDER ROSSI: Yeah Like Conor said, I mean, it’s the biggest, not only race in the world, but biggest single-day sporting event in the world, as well So it’s a pretty special experience and as a racing driver, it’s one of the three main events that you want to win So a lot of effort goes into it from all of us, from all of the teams, and it all comes to a head here in a couple of days MIKE ABRAMS: Now, Ric, will this be your first 500 or have you been before? RIC FLAIR: This will be my first 500, but actually, Indianapolis is where I was– my first WrestleMania, WrestleMania VIII, against Randy Savage So I’ve always been a fan of Indy and Peyton and Larry Bird And it’s a great sport city And it’s not that I couldn’t have gone, I just– probably, my schedule didn’t allow it But I’m really looking forward to it and when I heard my– when this opportunity became available, I just said, god, please figure me in And then I’ve had a great time today with these gentlemen And they’re the most courageous– they are the most courageous athletes alive And no, I’m not going for a ride with Marco Andretti, OK? Sorry Don’t even suggest it, please CONOR DALY: You got to do it, man You got to do it RIC FLAIR: Nada, nada I’ll have a heart attack and he’ll have one, too That’d be all we need Where’s the needs? Upside down MIKE ABRAMS: Conor, you mentioned you’re an Indiana native So what’s the entire month of May like in Indiana from before you were a driver to now, as you are racing in the 500? CONOR DALY: It’s always our biggest thing Even downtown Indianapolis, they put all the drivers’ last names on street signs all around the city So it’s one of those things where there’s billboards everywhere, there are signs everywhere It’s our biggest event by a long way You know, even when we had the Super Bowl, the Indy 500 still just blows it out of the water, just for sheer magnitude and the amount of people that are there Just even over the weekend in qualifying, last weekend in qualifying, thousands of people there We have Carb Day coming up on Friday 100,000 people there Race day, obviously, over 300,000, 350,000 people there So it’s just massive And the city really embraces it, which is really cool And it makes us feel special, as well MIKE ABRAMS: So Alex, I know you were a big football fan What got you into racing at a young age? ALEXANDER ROSSI: My father He was just a motor sports fan He went to races with his father and when I was 10 years old, he took me to Las Vegas for reasons that most people don’t go to Las Vegas But it was to do a three-day go-cart school And it was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity And I fell in love with the sport and started racing go karts and here we are at Google So right on MIKE ABRAMS: And Conor, your dad was a professional driver So was there ever any doubt in your mind that you were going to go into race driving? CONOR DALY: I guess not Yeah, he was– he did some stuff in race cars

and then moved to Indiana And then– ALEXANDER ROSSI: What did he do? CONOR DALY: He just circulated He circulated for many times And he met my mom when he came to do the Indy 500 and he never left So that was– and then I came to be and then he stopped racing and, sadly, I got into it and I think he was forced to stay in it himself So it’s just a family thing for us We love it He loves it still I love it Very lucky to be doing it I mean, there’s not a lot of people who can really, really live their dream and, you know, that’s what I’m doing, so it’s cool MIKE ABRAMS: And Ric, you’re widely regarded as the greatest professional wrestler of all time So– [CHEERS] RIC FLAIR: Thank you MIKE ABRAMS: And a Hall of Famer So what’s– RIC FLAIR: I’m glad you didn’t say, one of, OK? MIKE ABRAMS: The, the, the greatest RIC FLAIR: I’m just kidding MIKE ABRAMS: You know, what’s exciting you most about being part of the festivities of the 500? RIC FLAIR: Well, I was just going to ask these guys because I’m thinking about it When we have WrestleMania, you know, the 500 is our WrestleMania And we bring– I know, when we go to– we just came out of Orlando and we brought, like, $50 million worth of money, maybe $60 million, into the community And I’m just thinking to myself, how much money comes along with the race? And I’m not talking about prize money for the driver I’m talking about the economy I’m sure every hotel is sold out I better find out where I’m staying now And it’s not going to be the courtyard Don’t do courtyards or taxis But I’m just thinking, my god, it’s got to be overwhelming And Indianapolis is such a great city, my god Great bars, great night life, nice people Indiana is a good state, period CONOR DALY: Thank you Appreciate that RIC FLAIR: No, it’s the truth CONOR DALY: I like it, too RIC FLAIR: We got to work on the Indiana basketball team CONOR DALY: Yeah, we do We do [INTERPOSING VOICES] ALEXANDER ROSSI: I mean, the football team’s not great, either, is it? Let’s be honest MIKE ABRAMS: All right Let’s change subjects ALEXANDER ROSSI: You’re from Indiana, aren’t you? MIKE ABRAMS: I am from Indiana ALEXANDER ROSSI: So that doesn’t feel good, does it? MIKE ABRAMS: So let’s talk about last year’s race, the 100th running It was a historic race Conor, can you speak to what leading up to the 100th running was like, and all the hype around this monumental race? CONOR DALY: Well, it was cool, that’s for sure And I guess he enjoyed it a little bit more than the rest of us But yeah, I mean, the 100th was cool to be a part of that I mean, there’s not many events that are in their 100th running, so it was really cool to just be a part of history, start the next 100 years You know, obviously now, this year with the 101st So incredible what the city did, as he was saying The state of Indiana, you know, it’s huge for Indiana, the economy, the people, everything So it was awesome for us We sold it out, which is– I mean, that’s a lot of people So it was really cool And then a young American gentleman was the winner, so that helped for just America And that was good So I liked that I mean, I had a horrible time, but that doesn’t matter MIKE ABRAMS: Well, Alex, let’s talk about your victory You won using a fairly bold fuel strategy What was going through your mind, went into the decision, knowing that you were running out of fuel in the last few laps? ALEXANDER ROSSI: Well, we really didn’t have a choice because of some scenarios that happened during the race We had to go off sequence to everyone else and it put us in a position to be in some pretty severe fuel-saving at the end, to the point where I actually ran out of fuel on the last lap and the engine was off and I coasted across the line So I don’t necessarily want to have to go through that again because it was pretty chaotic for everyone involved But when you’re in the car, you’re just focused on the job you need to do and you take it one lap at a time I mean, everyone in their respective professions, when you get involved in something, it’s kind of– it’s a subconscious thing that happens So it’s the same thing for us and you just try and execute and maximize everything that you have MIKE ABRAMS: And as defending champion, you’ve gotten to do some pretty cool experiences, shooting at an intermission at a Blackhawks game, throwing out the first– ALEXANDER ROSSI: It’s not that cool MIKE ABRAMS: Throwing out the first pitch of the Cubs game ALEXANDER ROSSI: Also not that cool MIKE ABRAMS: What’s been your favorite thing you’ve done as defending champion, non-racing related? ALEXANDER ROSSI: Well, this, obviously [APPLAUSE] I mean, you think about Google as like this one page of stuff You don’t think of it as this entire city block, so it’s pretty cool to be here and it’s pretty awesome CONOR DALY: I just think of “The Internship,” the movie That’s my favorite movie I love it ALEXANDER ROSSI: He’s– yeah Anyway, for me, the highlight was the SBs in June

And it was because I got to– I mean, I got to meet Cam Newton, LeBron, Kobe, I mean, sports idols and icons, right? Which is pretty spectacular And to share an evening with them, honoring their kind of success over the year was pretty special RIC FLAIR: Are you a LeBron man? ALEXANDER ROSSI: Oh, yeah RIC FLAIR: All right, man Me, too ALEXANDER ROSSI: He’s the king, isn’t he? RIC FLAIR: I had to tell the commissioner– I had to give him the heads-up, man How he’s not the MVP over and over ALEXANDER ROSSI: Last game wasn’t great, though, for him, was it? 18 points RIC FLAIR: Yeah But that’s OK [INTERPOSING VOICES] ALEXANDER ROSSI: We’ll be all right, yeah RIC FLAIR: I wouldn’t want to be there tonight I mean, I wanted to be, but– ALEXANDER ROSSI: You’re here with us RIC FLAIR: –thing about that, I can’t go to LeBron tonight because I’m here today Can’t make the flight, so But I’m glad to be here [LAUGHTER] I want to be on the good side of Google God only knows they’ve exhausted me a couple times I just Googled you OK, really? That’s nice Does that really happen? No CONOR DALY: Allegedly RIC FLAIR: Yeah MIKE ABRAMS: So let’s change gears to talk about the Snake Pit Conor, being the Indiana native, I’ll let you– for everyone that’s not familiar with it, can you kind of give an explanation of what it is and how it’s evolved the last few years CONOR DALY: Absolutely The Snake Pit was big in the ’70s, I believe I wasn’t alive at that time, but they used to, like, burn couches and have crazy stuff go on there Obviously, a drinking festival But there was also the Indy 500 going on at the same time And it sort of went away-ish I think people discovered– to be more civilized But then, now, we’re bringing it back, obviously, because it’s all about a good EDM rave these days And so now, the last few years, we’ve had incredible electronic music artists playing from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM in the afternoon It’s like our own music festival inside of turn three We fit 30,000, 40,000 people inside of turn three and there’s still a race going on And there’s still 239,000 permanent seats sold out for the race And a lot of people don’t even know that there’s a race going on if they’re in the Snake Pit because, obviously, they’re upside-down wasted, but it’s a great time, from what I’ve heard RIC FLAIR: Hate that, hate that CONOR DALY: Yeah, right? And Ric’s going to be there and he’s going to be hooting and hollering And– ALEXANDER ROSSI: But you’ll be there, as well, won’t you? CONOR DALY: Yeah Ric’s going to be the MC I’m going to be there for 28 minutes, I think, and that’s all I can do From like, 9:45 to about 10:15-ish But I love that music We’ve got Zed, Marshmallow, RL Grime, Adventure Club, and Action Bronson playing this year So that should be a decent lineup And yeah, it’s changed massively, but it’s really cool I mean, it’s an actual music festival, which is something we don’t have in Indiana at all But going on right in the center of the massive race, as well So it’s incredible and I think Ric’s going to really enjoy it He’s going to be the leader of it all We need a good leader in the Snake Pit RIC FLAIR: I’m certainly going to try Woo [LAUGHTER] But I’m looking forward to– because I didn’t realize that both these gentlemen are single and they live together If my fiance will let me, I’m going to the after party ALEXANDER ROSSI: Can we clarify the live– yeah RIC FLAIR: Well, you guys share a mansion CONOR DALY: No ALEXANDER ROSSI: No [LAUGHTER] CONOR DALY: If I mansion is– how many square footage is that? 17? ALEXANDER ROSSI: He rents a room CONOR DALY: I rent a room at his house RIC FLAIR: OK CONOR DALY: That’s what I do RIC FLAIR: What I was saying– CONOR DALY: But I’m single and I’m ready to party, yeah RIC FLAIR: I wanted– are you married? ALEXANDER ROSSI: No RIC FLAIR: Oh, I didn’t think so I want to go to the after party Are you kidding? CONOR DALY: Yeah Well, hey, the plan is for you to recruit for the after party in the Snake Pit RIC FLAIR: Well, I can do that CONOR DALY: Yeah My man RIC FLAIR: [WHISTLES] Hey, you [APPLAUSE] CONOR DALY: There we go Now the after party is going to be really good RIC FLAIR: Give me some keys and I’ll just pass them out [APPLAUSE] CONOR DALY: 15, yeah 15 room keys RIC FLAIR: I’ll cover you, brother Don’t worry about that I know how to throw a party MIKE ABRAMS: So Ric, you are hosting the Snake Pit party Do you have anything special planned for it? RIC FLAIR: No, I’m just excited I didn’t realize– never having gone, I didn’t even know what the Snake Pit was I’m just a big fan of the Indianapolis race I’m from NASCAR Country, but to me, it’s just totally two different things And like I said, our NASCAR guys are– they drive fast and hard, too, but there’s a lot more protection You know, especially since Dale got killed, they got the helmets and they’re locked in pretty good But these guys, man, 230 miles an hour in an open cockpit

I mean, jeez I’ve been in an F-16 and I didn’t like that But it’s amazing I’m just really looking forward to it and enjoying the experience And my fiance– you forgot Keith Urban is going to be there She is flipped already Yes, I’m going to get you backstage, OK? CONOR DALY: It’s a party the whole weekend Keith Urban’s there Saturday RIC FLAIR: Yeah MIKE ABRAMS: So Alex and Conor, I know you guys are going 230 miles an hour, but do you feel a different energy when you come around turn three and fly by that party? CONOR DALY: Absolutely It smells a little different, but yeah No, don’t you remember that? ALEXANDER ROSSI: What energy do you have coming– CONOR DALY: I love it I just– because I know what’s going on there and I’m excited about it You guys might think differently, but I love it I love it You can’t really see it You can see– it’s hard to– when we’re racing, we don’t see anything except for what’s going on around us, obviously That sounded terrible But it’s on the pace lap, when you leave the grid for the first lap That’s when you– and you’re going just– we’re doing 100 miles an hour as our pace car speed And we’re just like– but 100 is really slow for us, so we’re inching along and you see the people I think that’s the most incredible thing You just see this entire facility just full I mean, what did you think? That That was your first one, so was that surprising? Did you like that? ALEXANDER ROSSI: Yeah CONOR DALY: Yeah, see? It was awesome MIKE ABRAMS: And Conor, you made a surprise visit last year in full suit and helmet– CONOR DALY: Yes MIKE ABRAMS: –to the Snake Pit CONOR DALY: I did MIKE ABRAMS: How was that and were you the only person fully clothed at that point? CONOR DALY: Yes I had three layers of fireproof clothing on at an 80-degree event, rave, crazy day party I went up into the crowd and people started spraying me with cheap beer And I was covered in Bush Light by the time I got back to my strategy meeting for the race But it was awesome It was so cool And I will be there again and I might wear a poncho this time though It’s frowned upon to show up to a motor race smelling of alcohol, I think [LAUGHTER] But it was a great time MIKE ABRAMS: So let’s switch gears to this year’s race Let’s talk a little bit about qualifications You guys had some challenging weather limiting the opportunities Alex, you had a pretty rough day one by having to sit in the car while they cleaned up the track after a wreck What goes through your mind as you’re sitting there, I think, unknown what’s going on, and you only have one attempt on that day? ALEXANDER ROSSI: The main thing is just making sure that Sebastian was OK And that’s where all your attention goes, so you don’t really care about anything else at that point Because all of us are competitors, but very close at the same time So it was a really big hit and when you see that, you don’t really quite know what the immediate outcome is So once you find out he’s OK, then you just go through your routine, your process, and you go out and do what you need to do MIKE ABRAMS: Day two, you guys had some better weather, but you still didn’t have as much practice time as you probably wanted How do you guys make adjustments on the fly with really, again, one attempt to qualify with limited practice? CONOR DALY: It’s really difficult because to go out there and really push these cars at the limit– I mean, he was going a little quicker than I was at 231 But we qualified at 226.5 and that still felt– that was a really difficult run for me because we haven’t really been able to get our car very comfortable the whole time And when you’re doing that speed, you feel everything You feel everything in the car If you have one moment, you end up in bad shape really, really quickly So it’s challenging, but in the end, it’s qualifying for Indy and you know, for four laps, you have to go out there and eliminate every emotion, every thought other than doing the best four laps that you can because it is very important The race is obviously what we all care about, but qualifying is also– the further up the grid you start, the better But it’s one of those things that, in the end, the race is all that matters But qualifying, I think just from a history standpoint at the Indy 500, is always very cool and very important MIKE ABRAMS: So speaking a little bit about the history, you guys both drive for teams with Indy 500 legends Conor, you with AJ, and then Alex, you with the Andrettis What’s it like, as they help you prepare, to have that much history and that much knowledge on your team? And then what’s it also like just having a famous boss, celebrities around the track? ALEXANDER ROSSI: Yeah Driving for Michael is a pretty huge privilege and I was very fortunate, as a rookie last year, to come in and have that amount of depth and knowledge

to rely upon And not only did I have Michael and Mario, but my car was actually a part of another team, which was owned by another driver named Bryan Herta And they merged with Andretti and so I had Brian, as well And that’s just a wealth of information and knowledge to sponge off of them And they’re very successful and, you know, my teammates, as well Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay are hugely successful at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway So I had a lot of very helpful people around me and it was great And Michael is a very, very cool guy to work for CONOR DALY: And AJ is just an old school American hero He’s still shouting and cursing and wishing he was still in the car at 82 years old But he’s awesome He’s still passionate about it He still wants to win, even though he’s not in the car But we’re trying our best for him because it’d be cool to get him back to victory lane Because he’s just a badass dude, so that’s awesome MIKE ABRAMS: So there’s a lot of ways to win the Indy 500, also a lot of ways to lose it And I think, for the novice fans out here, there’s probably not a true understanding of all the technology, to teammates, to everything in between that goes into winning What goes into having a good winning strategy for the 500? CONOR DALY: Fuel strategy, right, Alex? [LAUGHTER] ALEXANDER ROSSI: That’s one of the ways, yeah I mean, a lot Let’s take Andretti Autosport for example There’s 200 people that work on the program So it’s a very big operation You have everything from your normal day-to-day mechanics, engineers, to sim engineers to guys who are in the wind tunnel and shaker rig And it’s a big program to run race cars And as much as it appears to be an individual sport, with the drivers getting most of the attention, it’s probably one of the biggest teams sports in the world because you can– it doesn’t matter how good of a race car driver you are– and Conor can probably talk to this a little bit But if you don’t have the equipment to win, there’s nothing you can do about it CONOR DALY: Yeah, it’s tough The strategy is to win any way you can, right? So there’s multiple ways to do it Some obviously, he has 200 people on their team working We have about 25 on our two cars So it’s a little different But they’re still– we all still go out and race and compete against each other at a very high level But it’s a challenging sport There are a lot of really incredible talents that we race against and a lot of really good teams with a lot of really good, smart engineers So it’s tough no matter what, but that’s why we do it That’s why we compete MIKE ABRAMS: Since we are here at Google, talk to us a little bit about the data that you guys accumulate during practice rounds and the engineers that help you to formulate your strategy on race day CONOR DALY: Data is everything We have sensors on every part of the car It’s streaming live to the pit stands so our engineers can look at it It’s very important for us, as well, especially at the Indy 500 because everything is so crucial The thousandth of every– you know, every degree, every temperature of the tire, every sensor, all the arrow data that we see, supremely important So we rely on technology a lot and it’s one of those things that is always evolving So it’s cool to see the next level of what we get every year ALEXANDER ROSSI: The hardest thing, I think, is correlating real-life data to sim data Because the speedway is all about finding the balance between downforce and drag and how much grip you want to take away from the car to go quicker in a straight line There’s a lot of different aerodynamic builds that you can have with different packages of components and parts And wind tunnel and sim data often gives you a direction, but there’s quite a few times where it’s wrong, and so you’re trying to spend a lot of time correlating it back to reality And that’s where a lot of the differences are made, I think, at Indianapolis, specifically, among teams You’re measuring that with everything from load cells to pitot tubes to strain gauges It’s a lot of very, very involved things that is fascinating to be a part of and cool to work with every day MIKE ABRAMS: So the million-dollar question, how are the cars running for the 101st running? ALEXANDER ROSSI: Sweet I’m pretty happy CONOR DALY: Less than ideal, but I got a positive outlook on life, so the glass is half full, guys It’s going to be a great time We’re coming from the back It’s going to be a great story [LAUGHTER] And that’s what I’m excited about

Ric’s going to be there in victory lane with the milk and we’re going to have a great time So yeah, I’m excited about that You going to drink the milk with me if we win? RIC FLAIR: Yeah And I’m going to kiss the bricks, too CONOR DALY: Oh, yeah Absolutely RIC FLAIR: I’ll be doing all that CONOR DALY: Yeah I love it MIKE ABRAMS: And Ric, you have a “30 for 30” coming out this year RIC FLAIR: Yes MIKE ABRAMS: Is there anything that’s going to surprise people? RIC FLAIR: I’m worried a lot of people are going to think that it’s fantasy I’ve led a pretty interesting life, as you can google and see But yeah, I’m real excited about it It’s going to be almost two hours, I think It comes out September 8, so I’m excited It’s been two years in the making There’s a lot of people involved in it, so I’m excited about it You know, there’s obviously– it discusses some ups and lows, which everybody, unfortunately, experiences in life You’re too young to have ever experienced anything like that But you know, there’s good things and bad things But I think, for the most part, I’m excited because I’m the first wrestler they’ve ever done anything like that with And everybody I know– I’m very close to Evander Holyfield Anybody that’s done a “30 for 30” has raised their incomes dream major on the weekends for speaking engagements and stuff like that So bring it, baby [LAUGHTER] Yeah, I got four ex-wives I’m the only guy allowed to pay alimony to three women at one time Yep And I’m still humping, guys By that, I meant humping the road, working Working, I meant Excuse me Yeah, excuse me So yeah CONOR DALY: My hero right here RIC FLAIR: Yeah, yeah Yeah I’m really– MIKE ABRAMS: So on that note, we’re going to open up the audience questions [LAUGHTER] There is a mic over here and while people are lining up for questions, I had a couple of fun ones that we wanted to ask So for Alex and Conor, if you were a wrestler, what would your wrestling name be and what would your go-to move be? CONOR DALY: Randy Cool I think that’s what my name– that’s actually my name My engineer gave it to me last year MIKE ABRAMS: Randy Cool? CONOR DALY: Because it’s my name just with– what is that, an anagram? Is that where your different letters, or you can create words? I don’t know I didn’t go to college ALEXANDER ROSSI: Don’t use words you don’t know CONOR DALY: Yeah I didn’t get– RIC FLAIR: Well, for now on, you’re Randy Cool to me for sure I like– that’s a cool name CONOR DALY: There you go, see? RIC FLAIR: Hey, Randy Cool Hey, sweetheart, come meet Randy Cool ALEXANDER ROSSI: Are you saying Ric Flair is not your real name? CONOR DALY: Oh, man RIC FLAIR: Ric Flair? It’s not my real name I never changed it, legally ALEXANDER ROSSI: Who would’ve thought? RIC FLAIR: But you call me Slick My friends call me “Nay-tch.” CONOR DALY: Yeah Nature boy right here MIKE ABRAMS: And Ric, for Alex and Conor, can you do one of your patented hype videos for them for the 101st running so they have something to think about right when they get in the car? RIC FLAIR: Oh, yeah Hey, boys Hype for Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly This Sunday, the Indianapolis 500, man We’ll be limousine riding, we’ll be jet flying, we’ll be kiss stealing, we’ll be wheel and dealing and you guys will be going 200 miles an hour on the track And I’ll be going, woo! [APPLAUSE] And to the winner go the spoils and then Them the event, damn race is over, we are going to party with these gentlemen right here, Alexander and Conor, all night long Woo! Don’t be afraid to live the legend, ladies Woo! [APPLAUSE] And if you win the race, on of you guys, you guys are buying a drink CONOR DALY: Yeah, absolutely RIC FLAIR: I’m not picking up the tab that night CONOR DALY: I am motivated That was amazing RIC FLAIR: Thank you AUDIENCE: Thanks so much, you guys, for coming out and speaking to us Really appreciate it Very cool experience So my dad is a huge car fan and also actually got to spend some time with some of the pro wrestlers back in the down circuit doing some philanthropic work and had nothing but great things to say about them So I grew up spending some time watching cars go round and wrestling, as well I just want to know, what’s the experience like being able not only to live out your dream, but also continue to see your sports evolve and get a new fanbase? And where do you see the general health of both sports right now? RIC FLAIR: Well, first of all, I think it’s– what I’m happy about is that I’ve been able, through four decades, to track what I call a cross-demographic appeal, where now, I’m actually making friends that are in the IndyCar drivers that I’ve never had an opportunity to do before And the baseball players, I interact with them a lot And Sergio Brown, who was the Colts, put me on the map with the “keeping the alligators “down thing So I’ve just had a lot of fun and it’s just

another experience for me The state of wrestling right now, it’s different than what I did for a living But my daughter is in it, she loves it And WWE is a fabulous place to work The kids– they work hard, but they make a lot of money and they put a lot more time and consideration into their well-being The health, the concussion stuff, and that now because of all the injuries It’s choreographed, but it’s a rough physical sport And we had five guys with broken necks in the last three years So it’s tough, but to me, it wouldn’t be nearly as tough as driving a car to 220 or 230 miles an hour I just think– I don’t get that But I’m honored that I’m in the presence of two guys that do that for a living And spending the whole day with Conor, which I have, he thrives on it So it’s nice to wake up and be that excited I was very excited about wrestling every day, too But I wasn’t driving 220 miles an hour to get to the building CONOR DALY: Yeah, we drove a little slower to get here I obviously love doing what I do, so very lucky to do that As for the health of our sport, I think it needs some help still, obviously We had– after the split and when we got reunited back in ’08, ’09, I always said it would probably be 10 years before we’d really start to pick up traction again, as one open-wheel racing series, which next year would be 10 years since the split So I think we got a lot of momentum last year through the 100th running I think we’ve had really great racing Our product is not the problem It’s just a lot of things to try and get it onto people’s televisions, you know what I mean? TV ratings are king right now, so that’s very important for us But I think this year, as well, we have Fernando Alonso competing in the Indy 500, which is massive for the sport, in general And our races just keep getting better We have some incredible races and I think that’s good for us We’re just– I think we’re on the up and up We’re technically the only form of racing that’s actually going in an upward trend when it comes to ratings and stuff like that, so that’s nice RIC FLAIR: Do you think that Ashley Judd will ask me for my autograph? CONOR DALY: Oh, she’s not around anymore ALEXANDER ROSSI: She’s definitely not around CONOR DALY: She got divorced RIC FLAIR: I’m not going then She got divorced? CONOR DALY: Yeah RIC FLAIR: Did she really? CONOR DALY: She’s not with Dario anymore ALEXANDER ROSSI: She’s single, though CONOR DALY: Yeah She might be there, though RIC FLAIR: Just kidding I stood next to Brooke Shields one night at the Ritz here in New York, and I’m a big fan, right? I was this close to her, like this Close as you and I are for an hour, right? And she never looked at me one time, never said nothing, right? CONOR DALY: That’s the worst RIC FLAIR: So the guy goes to me– that’s with the company– he goes, maybe she doesn’t watch wrestling I said, watch wrestling? I’m Ric Flair What the hell? And she still hasn’t said hi to me yet CONOR DALY: That’s the way most girls do– RIC FLAIR: I know CONOR DALY: –with me, too RIC FLAIR: She just ignored me Kept turning her back to me CONOR DALY: Same That happens all the time Meanwhile, our boy there from– all the guys love me, but Brooke, not so much AUDIENCE: Thank you all for being here My question is for Ric Flair What was your favorite match that you were in at Madison Square Garden? RIC FLAIR: Gosh, you want to know something? I tell people this I was never– I’m from the south, right? And I really enjoyed, obviously, working for WWE But I don’t think I was ever a big card Does that make sense? First of all, I was older when I got to wrestle a little more frequently But probably the best match I ever had was back in the ’90s when I wrestled Hulk for the first time that It was like, man, we call him the Golden Goose I have only wrestled a few people in my life that were over with the public like Hulk And you know, he was selling vitamins and drinking milk and I was chasing women and drinking beer, you know? It’s magic The perfect bad guy and the perfect good guy But man, wherever we went, we sold out everywhere It was amazing All over the world I wrestled him in Tokyo and we sold out So it’s been a great experience He’s a phenomenal guy He’s been through a lot, personally Not just, as we know with one issue, but health-wise, he’s had seven back operations and he’s in a lot of pain So I talk to him all the time He’s doing much better He’s in good shape, financially, and I just wish the best for him Wrestling him in the Garden was something special AUDIENCE: Thank you AUDIENCE: Hey, guys I’m an Indiana native, too CONOR DALY: Sweet AUDIENCE: I’m glad you guys came out

Yeah So first, I had the original Ric Flair doll, the action figure He’s the only one that ever beat Optimus Prime in a fight [LAUGHTER] RIC FLAIR: What did he say? CONOR DALY: You were the only one to beat Optimus Prime in a fight– RIC FLAIR: Oh, yeah CONOR DALY: –with the doll AUDIENCE: But just given the change of how media is, do you have anything you would offer these guys from the days pre-internet, when you got famous before YouTube, to propel them, advice-wise? RIC FLAIR: These gentlemen here? AUDIENCE: Yes RIC FLAIR: Well, first of all, I think it’s just in their, the little bit that I know them But they’re obviously raised by great parents and I don’t think that they are– they’re never going to be put into situations where I failed I could have never– if this was the ’80s, I wouldn’t be allowed on the street, much less– we pretty much did what we wanted back then, you know? Anything I said on TV, I was pretty much doing [APPLAUSE] [LAUGHTER] Yeah See you at the Marriott tonight, 18 to 28, no boyfriends, no husbands, come on [LAUGHTER] Kind of like you’re gonna do in the race, OK? I’ll handle the after-party CONOR DALY: Oh, gee, I hope so Wow RIC FLAIR: But no, it just would have killed me I’m on a very short leash with my fiance You notice she’s right here I’m not allowed out of sight Come here [WHISTLES] And why did you ask her if she was married? I don’t know I asked her, it’s just normal [LAUGHTER] Not going to happen again AUDIENCE: I have a couple of questions For Alexander first, I know you have Formula 1 Experience and I’m just curious to know how you think that that played into your victory last year, if you learned anything that you brought with you And the other is, I’m curious to get your takes on Team Penske’s performance over the weekend because it’s wasn’t fabulous ALEXANDER ROSSI: Look who’s paying attention Right on All right So first question is, Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motor sports in Europe IndyCar is the pinnacle of motor sports in the US And I think that any of the top drivers in either championship that go to the other will be successful because to win in IndyCar, you have to have an innate level of skill and talent and competitiveness Same in Formula 1 So there’s a lot of– I think that any of the guys can drive either of the cars There’s actually not much crossover, in terms of technique, but just the general understanding of how to extract performance from a car will remain the same no matter what you drive, whether it’s a Honda Civic in town or a Formula 1 car and an IndyCar So I think that it wasn’t necessarily just Formula 1 experience, it was just motor sports experience that gave me that opportunity And then, in terms of Penske, my engineer actually used to work for Ed Carpenter Racing, who was the only Chevy that was really competitive And he looks at their aero configuration and is just like, they’re completely wrong Not even remotely close to being correct So it’s very interesting because they obviously have a huge amount of resources and have been very successful there and have all the time in the wind tunnel that they need But it was kind of what I touched on earlier Their correlation to real-life data clearly isn’t matching up very well and they literally are just taking away downforce to add drag, and it’s just the last thing you want to do, which is why we seem them out of the top 20 So it’s very strange, but I’m not complaining about it because it’s five less cars that I have to race against And yeah CONOR DALY: Well, we’ll see on Sunday [LAUGHTER] I don’t drive for Team Penske, clearly, but what he’s saying when it comes to aerodynamics is it really is interesting Because the Chevrolet package is struggling, for sure But you wouldn’t expect Penske to be struggling And then, as he said, the Ed Carpenter racing cars nearly had the pull I mean, they won [INAUDIBLE] second And that blows my mind, as well, because we were– ALEXANDER ROSSI: We have consistently CONOR DALY: We were running– ALEXANDER ROSSI: Like Joseph was last year CONOR DALY: I know that, which was incredible And we were running, literally, almost exactly the same topside downforce as they were, but we were going like four mile an hour slower So they’re doing something really good, the Carpenter cars And then Roger, I think, is probably frustrated with their whole program right now But I mean, it’s Penske, so it’s the Indy 500 and Penske No matter where they start, they’re going to be probably up at the front, at some point, I would have to say At least one or two of them, without a doubt ALEXANDER ROSSI: Yeah I mean, Will was quick CONOR DALY: Will was fast, yeah ALEXANDER ROSSI: Right CONOR DALY: But even like, I think–

I mean Joseph, obviously, qualified second last year, so he knows what he’s doing around there And Helio is going for four, as usual, so we’ll see what happens He’s brave, too He’s been running the two-tire ramps I don’t know if you’ve been watching But yeah, there’s some pieces on our car that can make the car handling very, very sketchy, but it’ll go fast in a straight line And Helio’s been the master of those He hasn’t crashed yet, so that’s good AUDIENCE: Once again, thanks a lot for all three of you coming out Really appreciate it I was curious, as drivers, how much of the technology of the car do you need to be aware of in order to race competitively? And then, related to that, how much does it change year to year? How much is the technology evolving? How quickly is it evolving? CONOR DALY: Well, I guess, we stay within a certain set of regulations So I think the technology level, we kind of have– we use we use things for different year periods, whether it’s three years with a certain type of ECU or something before we get– I think next year, we all get better ECU Whenever the new engine comes, we just get the next level of ECU and stuff like that So the technology, it depends on how much money you have to spend There’s always more– the more money, the more things you can do, or the more development you can do And the more– simulation is obviously massive right now, as Alex said That’s one of the things that teams are using a lot because of the fact that it costs you know $30,000 to $35,000, $40,000 to do a test day with your actual race car Doesn’t cost that much to just jump in a simulator to do some testing And if you can get accurate data from that, then it sort of eliminates the cost of real-life testing, although for us, real-life testing is way better But yeah, it’s an ever-changing game And for us, there’s always new things to learn, I think more so in Formula One, there’s always a lot more new things But they also have half a billion dollars to spend And we’re on, like, $8 million budgets for the year So it’s one of those things that’s a little different But your team has a lot more technology than mine, so I don’t know if you have anything to add ALEXANDER ROSSI: Oh, hi, you’re here Hi The driver understanding of it is very important because say, for example, you have a car that you’re not happy with the entry of it The engineer will be like, OK, well, these are the three or four things that we can do to solve that But like everything, there’s a knock-on effect that will go on if you change that So you need to understand what each thing will do and how it’ll change the behavior of the car and the way that you’re driving it so that you choose the thing that will improve the most what your problem is but take away the least amount somewhere else So having an understanding of the broad scope of the engineering side of the car is important But in terms of the actual engineering decisions, there’s people with Master’s degrees in vehicle dynamics and engineering that are probably more qualified But to have a full global understanding, at least the basics, is very important AUDIENCE: Yeah, thanks again to all of you for coming It’s really great to be in the presence of greatness My question is about the process of mastery personal growth and becoming better at what you do We, the public, get a lot of focus on the best in any field The best showmen in wrestling or the best race finishers in racing I’m curious to know about, what does it take to get there? What was it like not being the greatest wrestler of all time and working your way towards that? Is it a focus on showmanship, are there major difficulties along the way? RIC FLAIR: Well, that’s easy I actually talk about this a lot when I’m doing some motivational speaking First of all, you have to love what you do And you have to believe in yourself if you want to sell the character For me, like I said earlier, anything I said on TV, I was actually doing it Probably not the best advice for anybody because we’re doing different things, but work ethic, belief in yourself, self-confidence is huge I’m sure it is for these guys You have to have tremendous self-confidence But work ethic and the time they put into it We can sit up here and make light of things and all that, but these guys are getting ready for something that’s huge and they’re driving that car, like I said, at 230 miles an hour And that’s something I can’t even fathom, and I’m not making light of it It’s just something I don’t even want to go into– they have a test car where they’ll take you on it I didn’t want to do it Don’t make a joke about that to anybody But– ALEXANDER ROSSI: You already signed up I just did it online

RIC FLAIR: It’s just work ethic, dedication, and belief in whatever you’re trying to achieve You have to really like it and want it Even at 25 years of age, Conor had to want to do this for a long time And this is his third race Is that right? CONOR DALY: Fourth one, yeah RIC FLAIR: Fourth at Indy? Yeah So I mean it’s huge That’s my take on it CONOR DALY: Yeah I would say I’m definitely no master of motor sport or anywhere near that yet But it does take a lot of– I started when I was 10 and I, from basically age 10 to 14, you realize– racing go karts, only go karts But it’s like, traveling every weekend, doing a lot of different stuff My dad raced, as well, so he knew what it took And it took everything It takes your entire life I missed 70 days of school a year in high school And I showed up to my high school graduation and people had no idea that I still went to the school But it’s just– I didn’t– I never went to a prom, didn’t go to any of that stuff All I cared about was racing and my dad, every week made, sure to tell me, are you sure you want to do this because this will take every part of your life? And it’s true I graduated high school, moved to London when I was 18 I lived with a friend of mine’s stepdad I didn’t have friends over there All it was was race track, back home Simulator, race track all the time And that was through all my college years I got back to America at age 21, 22, or 22, really Yeah It just takes everything There’s a lot– I missed out on college I don’t know what that’s like I see that, from the internet, it looks cool But I mean, I guess it’s one of those things that people– RIC FLAIR: I was there for a year CONOR DALY: Was it fun? RIC FLAIR: I don’t remember [LAUGHTER] CONOR DALY: See? Yeah, well you have to give up a lot RIC FLAIR: I was having fun CONOR DALY: Exactly RIC FLAIR: Had a hard time finding where the class was But I was there CONOR DALY: Yeah That’s the thing How much are you willing to give up to succeed at something? And that’s, I think, when it comes down to it, how much time are you willing to dedicate to this goal of being a paid racing driver? Which was something that isn’t really that common these days So yeah AUDIENCE: Thank you MIKE ABRAMS: We probably have time for two more quick questions AUDIENCE: So I know that regulations are incredibly important to your sport because, unlike say, most other sports, which are just constrained by the performance potential of the human body, there’s essentially no limit whatsoever on what technology can achieve So I was wondering if you were the regulatory board, just the two of you, and you were able to set new standards and new changes and regulations for future years, what would you change and why? ALEXANDER ROSSI: For me, it would be about improving the racing product And the way to do that is, because these cars generate so much downforce, the problem with that is when you’re following another car and you don’t have all of the air being completely attached as you drive through it, there’s a pretty big knock-on effect to the following car Because all of the aero is, obviously, about low and high pressure sensitivities and areas and how the air goes over the wings and then reattaches, creating pressure So there’s a huge amount of downforce that comes from the top of the car and not so much that comes from the bottom And the reasons for that is because of fear of cars going too quickly Because there was a period of time in motor sports where there was blown diffusers and there was actually fans underneath the cars that were sucking the cars down and the speeds were just getting a little bit out of control But because safety has developed so far from when this existed in the mid to late ’90s, there’s less of a need to reduce the speeds as much as they have now And so for me, it would be all about putting much of the downforce and aerodynamic potential on the bottom of the car so that when you’re driving you’re not affected by the car in front, which means better racing, more entertainment, and something for the fans to get even more excited about And actually, with all credit to the rising IndyCar series, they are doing that, and next year cars are doing exactly what I just explained with the new aerodynamic packages and it’s very exciting to be a part of And IndyCar is one of the few championships I feel is really on the cutting edge of improving the racing product and having a forward-thinking vision of what they want the sport to be, instead of solely being in a reactionary position like other racing championships CONOR DALY: Yeah, I think this– I mean, that’s true Downforce from the floor will improve the racing, for sure, on short ovals for us

I think a lot more horsepower will be awesome I mean, race cars, mid-’90s, 1,000 horsepower We only have 650, 700 on a good day And you know, that’s a lot MIKE ABRAMS: That’s because you drive a Chevy CONOR DALY: Yeah, I know I was fixing to say We have 650, they have 700 But it’s one of those things that I think we need more– I know everyone loves eco fuels and all that stuff, but like I would really like to see like another V12 engine blowing your ears off and laying tire tracks out of every corner with 1,200 horse– I mean, I think that would be awesome MIKE ABRAMS: [INAUDIBLE] CONOR DALY: Yeah Because I mean– yeah, 2.2 liter V6 engines aren’t that exciting to me, in all honesty I hope– I think we’re on the way to also being eco-ish, but improving horsepower, as well So hopefully– ALEXANDER ROSSI: Eco-ish, the new gold standard of– CONOR DALY: Yeah, they’re going to paint it green and then say– ALEXANDER ROSSI: So I’m from California and he’s from Indiana, if you didn’t know [LAUGHTER] CONOR DALY: Yeah, sorry More horsepower, more floor downforce, and let’s go That’s all we need MIKE ABRAMS: Got time for one quick question AUDIENCE: Yep Quick one So I’m a big motorcycle guy I’m from Atlanta, so there’s a lot more open space ALEXANDER ROSSI: Atlanta, check it out AUDIENCE: Yeah So I get super excited I feel like a general badass when I’m going, like, 130 miles an hour, right? How do you guys translate going from miles an hour on race day to driving around, putzing at 50 miles an hour, and not getting speeding tickets? ALEXANDER ROSSI: Well, my Honda Pilot only does, like, 80, so I don’t have a problem It does 0 to 60 in five minutes [LAUGHTER] It’s great, though Because it drives itself, which is awesome It’s like Tesla and Honda pilots which do that Other than that, it’s such a different environment that– he actually drives slower than I do CONOR DALY: Yeah, I do But I hate the road I just hate the general public on the road It’s just so infuriating ALEXANDER ROSSI: But when I have to go on a road trip with him, I have to add like– I normally subtract 25, 30 minutes from Google Maps CONOR DALY: I’m a rule follower ALEXANDER ROSSI: His is exactly what the Google Maps says it’s going to be CONOR DALY: No, that’s not true ALEXANDER ROSSI: And you’re just like, well CONOR DALY: Not true at all But I am a rule follower ALEXANDER ROSSI: Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket? CONOR DALY: Yeah Five ALEXANDER ROSSI: I’ve gotten none CONOR DALY: Six of them ALEXANDER ROSSI: So maybe you should start speeding CONOR DALY: How does that work? Jeez Driving on the road, very different, obviously, unless you’re in some form of super car, which we do not own, either of us, yet I have big plans in my life, guys, don’t worry But if I was driving a Lamborghini everyday, or– man, I don’t know about the laws They would be– yeah It’s tough Either way, I just hate driving slow My foot is just always annoyed Wouldn’t you agree? You just– ALEXANDER ROSSI: No CONOR DALY: Like, we can’t go 60 miles an hour That’s not even a thing I have never gone 60 miles an hour, I don’t think, ever, on a road that has a 55 mile an hour speed limit Have you? ALEXANDER ROSSI: What are you saying? CONOR DALY: If it’s 55– ALEXANDER ROSSI: In a school zone, you should definitely not be doing 60 CONOR DALY: No, no, of course not 48 [LAUGHTER] All I’m saying is speed limit plus 30 is normal, I think unless there are children around What do you think? How do you drive, Ric? RIC FLAIR: Actually, I’m much better I got put in jail one time because I had 86 moving violations over a five-year period CONOR DALY: That’s a lot RIC FLAIR: And I went– ALEXANDER ROSSI: 86? RIC FLAIR: Yeah 86 Well, because in the old days, prior to the reciprocal agreement with states, in South Carolina, as an example, I’d get four tickets driving on the Charleston All you did was give $20, turn it over, throw it, and I keep going And you could drink back then in a car CONOR DALY: Oh, jeez RIC FLAIR: It’s changed a lot But anyway, I finally got busted because I got two going 80 in one day in North Carolina and I had to go to court And the judge sentenced me to 30 days, called me a habitual speeder I went downstairs for about an hour, man, and I didn’t like that Locked up for the night, right? But then I went to Superior Court and the guy laughed at it and fined me $25 But it slowed me down I never thought of it, but, hell, I had three drivers licenses– Minnesota, Florida, and North Carolina Just every time one of went down, pulled out the other one [LAUGHTER] Oh, I knew a lot about driving CONOR DALY: That’s why he’s a hero RIC FLAIR: But I’ve slowed down now Trust me I certainly don’t drink and drive I’m going to go– that’s the only thing I haven’t done wrong No DUIs That’s not going to change If I have a beer, I get a ride That’s all I need That would be all over Google Ric Flair, DUI

No, thank you MIKE ABRAMS: Well, gentlemen, thank you for being here The Indianapolis 500 will air on ABC on Sunday, May 28, at noon eastern The car will be here for about the next half hour if you want to take pictures with it You cannot get in it And please don’t sit on it But you can take pictures around it Thanks, guys CONOR DALY: Thank you, guys RIC FLAIR: Thank you CONOR DALY: I appreciate it RIC FLAIR: Thanks for all the respect [APPLAUSE]