By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor
The 30th season of the CBS reality show “The Amazing Race” kicked off on Wednesday night and this season’s cast included two IndyCar drivers, Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly, among the 11 teams competing for the $1 million prize.
As the two drivers make their way through the race, we’ll track their progress on a leg by leg basis. Fair warning, spoilers for this week’s episode are shown below.
“I think Alex and I worked better than people might think as teammates,” Daly said ahead of the race premiere. “I’m very excited to have people see what went on and how it all went because I think it was fun. I think people will enjoy seeing us love each other and hate each other.”
“Conor and I have known each other for a long time and we’re very close friends,” added Rossi, winner of the 2016 Indianapolis 500. “We are able to push each other’s limits – kind of in a good way and a bad way. His sense of humor is pretty infectious, so we had a good time together.
“In the heat of the moment you have disagreements, but at the end I think we worked really well together and I was very happy that he ended up being my partner.”
This year, the race covers 10 countries, 21 cities, and more than 29,000 miles over its duration, with the first leg getting the green flag from Washington Square Park in New York City before taking the teams to Iceland, where they took on crossing over the Geitargljufur River on a zip line to obtain the Icelandic flag dangling over the rushing water below.
The two arrived at the first stop in third place, keeping them safely ahead of the other teams behind them. Once they completed the task at hand, they got their next clue, which sent them on to Esjumelur to await further instructions.
Once at their destination, they took on their first road block of the game, in which only one member of the team set out on an ATV course to determine the order of letters to spell out a certain word (Ingolfstorg) before continuing on in the race.
After a bit of a struggle to complete the road block in a timely manner, Daly finally got the correct answer and they headed back to Reykjavik in fifth place, where they were then asked two questions by World’s Strongest Man competitors that they had to answer to get the location of the first pit stop of the race. The questions were “What do Icelanders call ‘The Black Death’?” and “What is Porskalysi?”
The last team to check in would face elimination.
Luckily for Rossi and Daly, they were able to get the answers from the townsfolk quickly, take their shots of cod liver oil (Porskalysi) and an alcoholic drink called Brennivín (The Black Death), and sprinted to the finishing mat in fifth, keeping them safe from getting the dubious honor of being the first team eliminated from the race.
Standings after Week One
- Team Extreme – Kristi Leskinen and Jen Hudak (Professional skiers)
- Team Big Brother – Cody Nickson and Jessica Graf (Former Big Brother contestants)
- Team Yale – Henry Zhang And Evan Lynyak (Dating couple from Yale debate team)
- Team Well Strung – Trevor Wadleigh and Chris Marchant (Musicians)
- Team IndyCar
- Team Chomp – Joey Chestnut and Tim Janus (Competitive Eaters)
- Team Ocean Rescue – Lucas Bocanegra and Brittany Austin (Ocean lifeguards)
- The Firefighters – Eric and Daniel Guiffreda (Twins and Firefighters)
- Team Slam Dunk – Cedric Ceballos and Shawn Marion (Retired NBA Players)
- Team Goat Yoga – April Gould and Sarah Williams (Goat yoga instructors)
- ELIMINATED – The Ring Girls – Dessie Mitcheson and Kayla Fitzgerald (Models)
Check in next week for a recap of how Team IndyCar does on the second leg.