LEXINGTON, Ohio – As they prepared for The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio this weekend, five Verizon IndyCar Series drivers were also thinking about the enjoyable experience they shared when taping an episode of the ABC summer hit game show "Celebrity Family Feud" that airs at 8 p.m. ET Sunday.
The drivers disclosed a few of their favorite memories Friday from the friendly competition with a team of Sports Illustrated swimsuit models. Some of the best recollections can’t be shared until after the show airs, but the quick-thinking prowess of Team Penske's Will Power was acknowledged by his “Feud” teammates.
“Will was dropping answers,” said James Hinchcliffe of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. “He would say it and we would all turn and stare at him and say, ‘Are you kidding me?’ And inevitably, every single one of them made it on the board (of most popular answers).
“Will was the guy who came up with the dirty answers that nobody wanted to say, and we didn’t think would actually be legit, and every single time they were on the board.”
Power and Hinchcliffe were joined by Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves, the team captain, as well as Chip Ganassi Racing’s Tony Kanaan and Dale Coyne Racing’s Conor Daly on the drivers’ side. The models were Samantha Hoopes, Tanya Mityushina, Robyn Lawley, Hannah Ferguson and team captain Nina Agdal.
When the contestants were asked to name something on King Kong that was “really long,” Power delivered yet again with “his ding-dong.”
“Will said exactly what everyone was thinking,” Hinchcliffe said. “Everyone was thinking it and not saying it. It was a total face palm from us and, sure enough, it was up there. Will would say it and so did America.”
Watch the memorable exchange here:
Playing for the Indy Family Foundation with a chance to win up to $25,000 for the charity that aids those in the motorsports community in financial need due to hardship caused by illness, injury or death, the drivers admitted their strikingly attractive competition tried to distract them.
“They tried, but no, we were focused,” Castroneves said. “The only thing that was missing for us was to put the helmet on” as if they were readying to start a race.
Watch here to see if Castroneves kept his focus:
His fellow drivers thought “Hinch” had the best shot to land a date with one of the models.
“Honestly, these girls were tough,” Power said. “Hinch is single. You look at his history with beautiful women, if he couldn’t score one of those girls, I don’t think anyone had a chance.”
Added Kanaan, “My wife was sitting in the audience, so there was no distraction there. They tried (to distract the drivers). Hinch and Conor were shaky, but my wife (Lauren) is beautiful. I was focused on the game.”
Steve Harvey, the show’s host, interviewed each of the models, so everyone was aware the only single contestant on that side was Mityushina.
“True beauty is on the inside,” Hinchcliffe said. “I’m only distracted by true beauty on the inside. We didn’t get a chance to know them, they were the competition. I’m sure they’re all beautiful people on the inside as well, but we made sure we didn’t take the time to get to know them ahead of time because we needed that killer instinct.”
To learn how it played out and who won, tune in Sunday night after watching The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Sunday afternoon (2 p.m. ET on CNBC with a 5:30 p.m. re-air on NBCSN). Then check out IndyCar.com on Monday as the drivers share the rest of the story.