Sammy Hagar was on pit road at Infineon Raceway on Sunday as a more-than-casual observer. Hagar slapped his Cabo Wabo Tequila logo on the No. 13 IndyPro Series car of Robbie Pecorari, which he co-owns with A.J. Foyt.
Pecorari crashed on the first lap of Sunday’s Valley of the Moon 100 and finished 18th in Saturday’s Carneros 100 in a disappointing weekend at his boss’ home track.
“For me, it’s not only about winning. It’s just coming out and being competitive,” Hagar said. “Winning is just a big fringe benefit. It’s like when you’re record goes to No. 1. That’s a big fringe benefit.”
Having Hagar involved in racing is a big fringe benefit for Pecorari – and for the series, which receives a big boost from Hagar’s star power. A camera crew was following Hagar all day for the taping of “Road to Cabo 2.”
Pecorari’s first win of the season in July at Nashville, Tenn., was a welcome wake-up call for Hagar, who happened to be in Italy at the time.
“That was so cool,” Hagar said, even though it was 4 a.m. when he got the news. “I went whoo! Woke the wife up. That was awesome.”
“I had a Cobra and Bob had just made a serious run at the world championship with the Cobra,” Hagar said. “He said ‘Here, let me show you how to really drive that car.’
“I swear to you that I still think I probably died that day,” Hagar said. “He would come into a turn (fast) and I thought, ‘This is it. There’s no way we’re going around that corner this fast.’ It was the most reckless driving I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s awesome. It’s genius in those front-engine cars. That was the wildest thing ever.”
Hagar always lives up to his reputation as the wild man of rock, even though he turns 60 in October. His lifelong passion for racing fits right into that.
When he had the opportunity to invest in a business venture, Hagar knew what he wanted to do. His managers with Cabo Wabo had other ideas, but Hagar won out.
“I’m hands on but I’m not day-to-day,” Hagar said of his involvement with Cabo Wabo.
“I’m a race fan. I only do things that I like to do. People talk about (race) horses. I don’t like horses. You’ll never see me at the race track. I’m into car racing. It just made sense.”
Hagar spent some time in the hospital due to illness in May, but he’s back in action, pumping out a new album – between races.
“Everyone is here for the same reason. It’s like a rock concert,” Hagar said, comparing his two passions. “Everyone’s there to see the band. Everyone is here to see a race. The sound of those engines. All the excitement and adrenaline. A good wreck is fine, as long as nobody gets hurt. It’s the same thing on stage. They don’t want to see the leader singer get too drunk and fall down It’s loud and it’s an event. Being a real musician and a real race driver takes a huge amount of skill.”
Hagar is itching to get behind the wheel of a race car. He was invited to Fontana on Feb. 22 for the AutoClub 500 Nextel Cup race at California Speedway. He wrote on his blog that if officials let him drive the pace car, the field might not be able to keep up with him.
And how about a street race in his hometown?
“What, between me and the police?” said Hagar, laughing all the way.
Courtesy of the Marin Independent Journal