SCOTTSDALE, Arizona - Over the last few weeks, viewers of “The Amazing Race” have gotten a glimpse at the off-track personalities of Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly as they compete in the 30th season of the CBS reality adventure series.
But the weekly episodes have also given the pair a chance to reconnect with the many friends they made while filming the show.
The latest opportunity came Wednesday night at a watch party held in conjunction with the Verizon IndyCar Series’ preseason test at ISM Raceway near Phoenix.
Rossi and Daly were joined by fellow cast members Cody Nickson and Jessica Graf (Team Big Brother), Kristi Leskinen and Jen Hudak (Team Xtreme) and April Gould and Sarah Williams (Team Goat Yoga) at El Hefe Mexican Restaurant to watch the two-hour double episode in which teams raced through Harare, Zimbabwe.
“It’s great to have these parties and and talk about what happened because we didn’t really know what happened to the other teams,” Daly said. “We all became such great friends, so it’ s really cool to get to hang out and enjoy the show.”
In the episode, teams experienced the race’s first-ever partner swap with Daly and Rossi being paired with Team Ocean Rescue for the detour task, "Rhino Track" or "Bushwhack," which highlighted the all too unfortunate reality of animal poachers in Africa.
Teams who chose "Rhino Track" had to ride horseback as they scoured the land for signs of poacher camps, spotting any man-made belongings they would have left behind. On the other hand, "Bushwhack" involved driving a stick shift Jeep through the muddy terrain and looking for supply drop-offs for those who spot poachers, replenishing their water supply.
Daly said he enjoyed that task the most of the episode, even if his team had to overcome getting the off-road vehicle stuck in the mud.
“Driving the truck in the mud, it was something different,” he said. “We were made to get stuck in the mud. It was a good challenge but good to work with the lifeguards. Alex with Brittany and me with Lukas, it was really fun.”
Mirroring the episode, Daly nearly hosted the party with fellow cast members but not Rossi, whose travel to Phoenix was delayed. He arrived just as the teams were participating in the final task -- involving singing in the native language of Zimbabwe and dancing in front of the crowd - which Rossi said he feared the most.
They accomplished the task on their third attempt and Rossi joked it was one of the biggest accomplishments of his life, trailing only his 2016 Indianapolis 500 win and his Formula 1 debut. They finished third in the leg.
“Good enough for the podium,” Daly quipped.
Team Extreme was the first to finish the song and dance task and arrive at the finish mat first. Team Firefighters was eliminated. The next episode of "The Amazing Race" airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT Feb. 14.
“It’s good to be in it,” Daly said. “ We’re still fighting our way through it and you never know what will happen next.”