Q and A with Ed Carpenter's IndyCar sponsor Fuzzy Zoeller
Ed Carpenter interviews his IndyCar sponsor: For my latest blog for The Baltimore Sun, I thought it might be fun to interview my favorite celebrity, golfer Fuzzy Zoeller.
As you know if you’ve seen my car, Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka is my primary sponsor, but Fuzzy is more than just the name behind the incredible spirit that powers our team. He’s also a family friend, an Indiana boy and one of the greatest golfers who ever lived.
So, without further ado, here’s my Q&A with my sponsor:
Me: Why did you choose my team?
Fuzzy: At the time, my partner and I were looking for something a little different. This opportunity was available, and we wanted to help you take this team to another level. It’s been a great marriage. We’re very pleased with the way it’s worked. It’s been very positive the whole Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka team. When you’re trying to get a new product launched, I don’t know what better way to do it. It’s been unbelievable.
Me: What did you think the first time you saw an auto race?
Fuzzy: I thought, "Damn, this is fast." Here I am trying to slow my life down, and this is life in the fast lane. You can’t get any faster than this. It’s amazing to me what a split second means in this sport. It’s the difference between first and second. People might think, "A second and a half isn’t much time," and it’s not, but it’s the difference between first and 20th in racing. It’s crazy.
Me: Are there any similarities between golf and racing?
Fuzzy: There are many. Who's controlling that car? You are. It’s all right there in your hands. Golf is the same way. Who’s controlling the golf club? The player. There are a lot of similarities. Both are mental games. I’m not too sure I could drive 60 mph down the highway and do all the stuff you do inside the car. Shifting gears, making adjustments, watching the computer – and still keeping your eyes on the road. It’s a gift, I gotta tell you. It’s a gift. Not everybody can do what you do.
Me: Tell a story about the last time we played golf together.Fuzzy: (Laughing) You played in my charity tournament as a celebrity. You’re a celebrity in my eyes. As for your golf game, well, are you a scratch handicapper? No, no, no. Do you get your money’s worth when you hit the ball? Yes. I told you to hit the golf balls like you ain’t got a dime in them, and you do. You lose a few of them, but I give them to you for nothing, so what the hell is the difference?
Me: Would you ever want to switch places – I become the professional golfer and you drive the race car?
Fuzzy: Never. As a matter of fact, you and I are going about as fast as I want to go right now. Yesiree. I’m going to be 62 in November. I’m trying to slow this baby down.
Me: Have you ever owned fast cars – sports cars or hot rods?
Fuzzy: Not really. You know, I’ve never really ever been one of those speedy people.
Me: But you’re speedy on the golf course. You walk fast.
Fuzzy: I was taught to play fast on the golf course. I was always told, "If you let something grow underneath your toes, you’re taking way too long."
There you have it – my interview with one of my favorite people. If you’re hanging around the Grand Prix of Baltimore this weekend, drop by the Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka pits or paddock and say hello to a legend. If you can’t be here in person for Sunday’s race, be sure to watch it live on NBC Sports Network at 2 p.m. ET.
We couldn't put this race car out on the track without Fuzzy’s help. But beyond that, he keeps us all entertained at the races.