Never heard of Simon Pagenaud?
He just happens to have won last year’s big IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway, which clinched him the national 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series championship, which of course allowed him to sip wine from the Champion’s Goblet. Pagenaud tries for a repeat this weekend.
Not only is Pagenaud a great driver, he’s from Montmorillon, France and seems to be a really nice guy with interests in fashion, food and wine and his fiancée, Hailey, of course. It all makes sense since Montmorillon is famous for its 150-year-old recipe for macarons.
Pagenaud loves fashion and is an ambassador for the Samuelsohn men’s clothing line. He said in a phone call that dressing well gives him confidence, especially when he has to speak before crowds.
Going into this weekend’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway, Pagenaud ranks fourth in the national point standings and could take it all again. But he must make a visit to his close friend at David Arthur Vineyards since he, Pagenaud, is “a red wine guy” whose preference seems to roll toward cabernet sauvignon. The North Carolina resident drinks Pomerol wines from Bordeaux when home in France.
Every six months he does blood tests to check what corrections he should make with his diet. Pagenaud said he avoids eggs and during the weeks before a race enjoys a daily breakfast of a tofu, tomato and ham scramble. During the day he eats pasta with chicken and red sauce every two hours, and then consumes fish and/or steak the night before a race. As a member of Team Penske, Pagenaud feels very lucky that “Chef Dave” cooks whatever drivers need. At home, he loves meat, barbecues, New York steak, chorizos and bratwurst, as well as ratatouille and stuffed tomatoes.
NASCAR driver Danica Patrick used to be the darling of IndyCar racing and said of the only race she won, which was in Japan, that her pre-race breakfast consisted of a hardboiled egg and a roll left over from dinner the night before – an uncomplicated combo of protein and carbs.
Patrick is way into the cabs, having bought land loaded with 50 tons of rock and trees on Howell Mountain in the Napa Valley AVA. It took two years to get ready to plant her first cab vines on the six of her 22 acres planted in 2011. Now she grows cab, cabernet franc and petit verdot and will make her first Somnium Rosé in 2017.
Tracy Smith, Somnium’s vineyard and winery manager, says Patrick is now a “strict eater.” She eats lots of spinach and eggs with Chia seeds and even makes her own almond milk. In fact, Danica Patrick has a healthy diet and exercise recipe book coming out soon and shipping on Dec. 26. Divorced in 2012, she has been “dating” driver Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. They also live in North Carolina.