By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor
The 30th season of the CBS reality show “The Amazing Race” is underway and this season’s cast included two IndyCar drivers, 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly, among the 11 teams competing for the $1 million prize.
As the duo races around the world, we’ll track how they’re doing in the race and see if they can capture the checkered flag when all is said and done.
Six weeks into the race and teams would be faced with another double episode on Wednesday night that included another surprising twist to shake things up a bit.
After leaving Prague in fourth place, all of the teams flew to Zimbabwe and then made their way to the Imire Rhino and Wildlife Conservancy, where they were tasked with building a tent, where they would sleep for the night.
The next morning, they were awoken by host Phil Keoghan at 4:00 am and given the details of the big twist. In an Amazing Race first, teams would be split up, with their finishing order in the tent building challenge determining their picking order for the partner swap.
Since they finished last in tent building, they would get picked by Team Ocean Rescue for the swap, with Rossi partnering up with Brittany and Daly partnering up with Lucas.
The first challenge as divided teams would be to row a makeshift raft out to clues hanging in trees on the other side of Imire Lake.
Rossi and Brittany were the first to get their clue and get over to the Detour, while Daly and Lucas were the fourth team to arrive.
For the Detour, teams had the choice of Rhino Track, which would force them to ride on horseback and find eight different pieces of poaching evidence along a trail and then mark them on a map, or Bush Whack, where teams would drive an SUV out to a supply dump to gather a fresh water tank and then bring it back to a supply station to swap out the empty ones. The Bush Whack task would also come with the added obstacles of two different water crossings they would have to get past in their vehicles without getting stuck in the mud.
As the first team, Rossi and Brittany went with Rhino Track, while Daly and Lucas went with Bush Whack.
The Rhino Track task went off without a hitch for Rossi’s team, while Daly’s team got stuck in the mud at the second of the two water crossings and they had to winch themselves out.
Since the teams were divided when they reached the pit stop at the conclusion of the Detour (Savannah Plains Overlook), the divided teams had to wait for their original partners to arrive before they could check-in. As luck would have it, Team IndyCar and Team Ocean Rescue were the first two teams to arrive with their whole team, allowing them to get the first two clues and head off to start the next leg in first and second.
With their next clue in hand, teams then made their way to Harare, Zimbabwe by car, where they would head to Khan Fabrics and Haberdashery to get their next clue, which contained a Detour. The location also had a U-Turn board and Team IndyCar elected to U-Turn Team Yale, while Team Big Brother also got U-Turned.
For the Detour, teams could choose to deliver several mail packages in a large mall (Handle with Care) or deliver tires by hand over a roughly half-mile course in a crowded market (Just Get It There).
Rossi and Daly chose the latter of the two tasks and struggled a bit, as they were unable to find the location to take the tires in a timely manner. Despite the minor setback, they still finished in third place and headed off to Harare Gardens for the Road Block (Get Down the Zimbab-way).
Once there, all of the teams would have to learn a Zimbabwean song and dance that they would have to perform in front of a live audience in the native language to the satisfaction of the band and the crowd. Pure nightmare fuel for some of the teams, IndyCar included.
“I was just freaking out,” Rossi said of the singing challenge. “I didn’t want to let Conor down. It could be singing in the shower and I’d have a problem with it. That’s the level of concern I had.”
Daly remained a little more upbeat about the challenge, saying: “I hate this too, but I think I do have just a little bit more rhythm than him.”
“More than a little,” Rossi was quick to reply.
All of the teams had their hands full with the song and dance, with Team IndyCar finally nailing it on their third attempt and heading off to the pit stop at a nearby pedestrian mall, finishing the leg in third place.
“Dude, I’m so proud of you,” Daly could be heard saying to Rossi en route to the pit stop. “I can’t even believe you did that, to be honest. Let me tell you something. I feel groovy now.”
“That was probably in my top three greatest accomplishments,” Rossi replied. “Making my debut in Formula 1, winning the Indianapolis 500, and accomplishing that task of dancing and singing.”
Week Six Standings
- Team Ocean Rescue
- Team Extreme
- Team IndyCar
- Team Yale
- Team Big Brother
ELIMINATED: The Ring Girls (Leg 1), Team Goat Yoga (Leg 2), Team Slam Dunk (Leg 4), Team Chomp (Leg 5), Team Well Strung (Leg 6), The Firefighters (Leg 8)