The Last Row Party’s Best Insults
The sixth-floor terrace of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Pagoda and view of the distant city skyline set the scene for an all-American cookout at the 43rd-annual Last Row Party on Thursday night, benefiting the Indianapolis Press Club Foundation. And by “cookout,” we mean a roast that took place outdoors.
Bryan Clauson, Ryan Briscoe, and James Davison—who came into the event as the final three qualifiers for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500—gathered for public humiliation administered by MCs Curt Cavin of The Indianapolis Star and FOX59’s Chris Hagan.
This year presented a unique challenge to the roasters after an 11th-row lineup change earlier in the day replaced the injured James Hinchcliffe with Briscoe. Davison fell to the last row because he was not able to drive his car during last weekend’s qualifications; Tristan Vautier qualified the car for him, the first time an Indy 500 team has pulled the stunt since Mario Andretti and Wally Dallenbach did it in 1981.
And it turns out, Clauson was skewered unfairly: Another position change after the event moved him out of the last row. And Vautier—who will start the race after all, in the 33rd spot, in yet a different car—dodged a rhetorical bullet.
Deserved or not, some of the jabs still merit repeating. Here are the best from the evening:
In a last-minute sponsorship, Coke Zero agreed to be on Davison’s car. It has zero calories, and James has zero chance of winning.
Davison will make history on Sunday, when he’s the fastest car to get lapped.
Ryan Briscoe: the only professional athlete whose wife [motorsports reporter Nicole] is on ESPN’s SportsCenter more often than he is.
He’s from Australia. He looks like one of the members of the Bee Gees. He’s Ryan Briscoe.
Bryan Clauson lives in Noblesville, and his team is very low-budget. That’s why he was hired, because they could actually use an Uber to get him to and from the track.
Clauson has the Jim Carrey haircut from Dumb & Dumber, but the only movie he’ll be in is Slow & Slower.