By John Strege
Ignoring the fact that vodka and driving don't mix, Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka, the vodka company co-owned by former U.S. Open and Masters champion Fuzzy Zoeller, sponsors the car that won the pole position for the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.
Fuzzy's Vodka Chevrolet is owned and driven by Ed Carpenter, who like Zoeller is a native of Indiana. "We wouldn't have a race team if it wasn't for Fuzzy," Carpenter said in an interview with Fox59, Indianapolis' Fox affiliate.
Zoeller was not there for the qualifying, but he will be there for the race on Sunday. He is not entered in the Senior PGA Championship this week.
"All I want to do is kiss the brick," Zoeller said in a 59Fox interview. "I want to see what it tastes like. I'll let him [Carpenter] drink all the milk he wants because I'm lactose [intolerant]. But I want to kiss that brick."
The tradition of kissing the bricks was started by Dale Jarrett after he won NASCAR's Brickyard 400 in 1996. Jarrett knelt down and kissed a brick that is part of a strip of bricks at the start/finish line at Indy left over from 1909, when the racing surface was made of brick.
Fuzzy's Vodka has been a sponsor of the car since 2010. In a promotion that was announced prior to Carpenter earning the pole position, a Checkered Flag Limited-Edition bottle of the vodka commemorating the company's involvement of the Indy 500 was introduced. Rather than golf imagery on the label, it shows turn one at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.