Ride with Clyde
Welcome back to episode two of Ride with Clyde, I’m your host, Clyde Hudson back with two brand new guests. This time we have the leader of the pack, Spark Spencer III and the man just 140 points back, Satoshi Nakata.
These two couldn’t have been more different when it came to car requests this week. Spencer took it easy on our budget by requesting a 1972 Ford Pinto while Nakata took the opposite approach and stretched our limits with a Tesla Model X. We here at Ride with Clyde aim to please, though, and no car request will be turned down. Though, with gas prices the way they’ve been, this show is getting harder and harder to fund.
On race day, you’ll see Spark Spencer III in the #81 Gatorade and Xbox One Ford, usually leading the race or on his way to the front, anyway. He has four wins on the year while finishing 87% of the laps this season. He’s a short track specialist who is just as comfortable qualifying as he is out there battling it out with everyone out there under the lights.
We kept it simple with the first question asking Spencer which race was his favorite and why.
“I was a big fan of the race in Salem where i won the pole, and then lead all 80 laps, never getting passed to win!”
That was quite a race for Spencer, for sure, one of four wins this season which is incredible.
One of my favorite things in the whole world is food, both eating it and cooking it. So this interview took a bit of a turn away from the track and into the kitchen. I asked Spencer what his favorite race day meal is and also, if a restaurant were to make a sandwich in his honor, what would it be called and what would be on it.
He said his favorite race day meal is chicken parmesan and had this to say regarding the sandwich:
“They’d call it “The Third” and it’d be a sandwich that has three different meats on it: Steak, Chicken, and Sausage. They’d chop those up, mix them, and melt cheese over it. It will take away about a third of your life expectancy.”
Maybe they can start selling those at Salem Speedway. I’m sure they’d be a huge seller.
As I said in the intro, Nakata is sitting in third in the standings but only has one win to his name right now. He has completed a staggering 98% of the laps on the year, a major part to his success so far. Nakata is the same type of driver as Spencer, just a little less developed in his career but is definitely a solid driver. His #37 Pontiac is sponsored by Adidas and EA Games on race day and those two sponsors couldn’t be happier with the exposure he’s getting them by completing the highest percentage of laps of anyone in the league. More laps complete means more possibility of viewers seeing your car and sponsors. That’s exactly what they’re paying you for.
Like I said earlier, Nakata chose the Tesla Model X for his ride with me, saying he “always wondered if electric cars can feel as good to drive.” The verdict is still out on this, however, we did get the low down on his favorite race of the year.
“Thompson International, because I won that one. My first win in America, so it will be hard to forget I think.”
You know what they say, you always remember your first and in racing this is no different. I remember my first race, I actually finished 10th, my best finish and only top ten so far this year. But enough about me, Nakata’s favorite race day meal was something that I had personally never heard of but it sounds delicious.
“I always eat katsudon before the race. This is to bring fortune, because the katsu part sounds like to win in Japanese. It will not work every time, but I like to eat it anyway. Not always the same kind, sometimes with miso, sometimes with curry, different styles. Sometimes even with fish instead of pork, with furikake. But my favourite is pork katsudon with egg and cabbage.”
Maybe next time Nakata’s in town, we can hit up some Japanese restaurants and he can show me what this “katsudon” is all about. The sandwich question as a bit tricky due to some cultural differences. Apparently, Nakata isn’t a big fan of sandwiches but he was a good sport and answered it anyway.
“I don’t eat sandwiches much. Better to have rice than bread, I think. But maybe you can make a good sandwich with miso beef yakiniku. If the beef is very good quality, and you have red miso, you can grill it and make a tasty sandwich. I would call it Sato-niku sandwich. Maybe I will talk to a company. Not McDonalds, though. Sorry Hudson-san, they are famous American brand but they don’t use good beef.” He ended that with a chuckle.
Sato-niku translates to “village meat” according to Google so I’m not exactly sure what Nakata is trying to get across with that product name. However, much like The Third, maybe this can gain some traction and start appearing in race track menus soon.
That’s all for this episode of Ride with Clyde. We hope to have you back next week when we go for a spin with two new drivers.