The Marty Smith Podcast: Why the Indy 500 Is More Than Just a Race, Mich Ultra Signs PGA Fan Who Went Viral Online, and Pizza Hut and Dairy Queen Hot Takes

by Chris Haney

On the newest episode of The Marty Smith Podcast, the guys are revisiting Memorial Day weekend along with chatting about Marty’s experience over five days in Indianapolis for the Indy 500. This past week, ESPN sent Marty Smith to Indianapolis Motor Speedway to cover the 106th running of the famous race. Over a five-day period, he took in the racetrack, interviewed drivers, and took in the atmosphere in Indy.

As Smith returned home and recorded the podcast yesterday, he opened up about his week at the Indy 500. He talks about the amazing pre-race festivities. Smith chats about how hot it was on race day, but no one seemed to care because it was such a great event. Mimosas at 9am might’ve helped out with that.

The podcast host speaks about interviewing some of the drivers, including the Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson. He even shares an amusing story about gridlocked traffic leaving the racetrack when his flight home was supposed to leave two hours later. Spoiler alert: he barely made it in time to the relief of his wife.

Yet the guys cover plenty more this week on The Marty Smith Podcast. As always, the co-hosts and their producer engaged in some good-natured teasing of one another. Co-host Wes Blankenship spent Memorial Day at the lake. But somehow producer Travis Rockhold is the one who ended up with a sunburn so bad that Marty hilariously said he looked like a bottle of ketchup with legs.

The guys later talk about old school Pizza Hut and the best pizza they’ve ever had. They debate the best type of Blizzard you can get at Dairy Queen. And they discuss one fan’s viral photo at the PGA Championship who signed a deal with Michelob Ultra. We’ve got a cornucopia of topics this week that you won’t want to miss in the new episode of The Marty Smith Podcast.

‘The Marty Smith Podcast’ Host Explains Why the Indy 500 Is Much More Than Just the Race Itself

After spending most of the week in Indianapolis, host Marty Smith had plenty of stories to share. But one of his main goals of the week was to shine a light on the spirit of the popular race. As Smith tells it, the Indy 500 is one of the most famous races in the world, but it’s so much more than that.

The Indianapolis 500 is about tradition on the track and off of it. That includes annual pre-race ceremonies with the performance of “Back Home Again in Indiana,” which has become an anthem of sorts at the track. It’s the winning driver chugging milk on Victory Lane. Yet most importantly, the Indy 500 always coincides with Memorial Day weekend.

Beyond the race and the drivers, military veterans are the focal point of the weekend. Honoring our nation’s troops for their service to our country is at the forefront of the weekend celebrations. Smith met several veterans in attendance, spent time with them, and interviewed them. As Smith shared, they tried to summarize the whole event while highlighting the importance of the full experience that is the Indy 500.

“We had been trying to desperately encapsulate the spirit of the Indianapolis 500 because it’s so much more than just that race. It’s this beautiful display of patriotism. It’s this beautiful display of remembrance for our military members who pay the ultimate sacrifice who died so we can be free. It is “Back Home Again in Indiana,” it is “America the Beautiful,” it is “Taps.” And when they play “Taps” you have chills all over you. It’s just an amazing sensory experience to be at the Indianapolis 500. And we were trying. We desperately tried to encapsulate that and articulate that,” The Marty Smith Podcast host said.

Marty Smith Talks About PGA Championship Fan in Viral Beer Photo

Two weekends ago, the PGA Championship played at Southern Hills Championship Course. In a moment that went viral online during the tournament, cameras captured a fan standing solemnly with his Michelob Ultra beer in hand taking in Tiger Woods’ teeing off. Yet dozens of other fans are surrounding him all with their phones out recording Tiger. The fan was universally applauded for not having his phone out and just taking in the moment.

Fast forward a week and Mich Ultra announced they’ve signed the fan to a marketing deal. The beer company is already using the now-famous photo for a short advertisement on social media. They’re planning on making t-shirts with his image and hats referencing the moment. Plus, they’ve hinted at creating a special edition Mich Ultra can with his image on it as well. Overnight the golf fan has basically become the face of Mich Ultra.

“That should be a lesson to us all,” Marty Smith explained. “It’s like I say about The Masters all the time. The beauty is you’re not watching the moment through the lens of a cell phone. You’re watching it with your own eyes, immersed in the same moment with the people that you’re at the tournament with. And there’s so much beauty in that, especially today with so much distraction. I already thought it was the coolest photo ever. Just such a neat photograph.”

The Guys Chat About Dairy Queen and Old School Pizza Hut

Of course, it wouldn’t be an episode of The Marty Smith Podcast if the guys didn’t hit you with some hard-hitting takes on amusing topics like Pizza Hut and Dairy Queen. During Wes’s Memorial Day celebrations, he visited Lake Oconee in Georgia and had a blast. Unfortunately, there’s not much else around the area he was in, but the small town did have a Dairy Queen, which got the guys excited about their famous Blizzard treats. That begged the question, what was everyone’s go-to Blizzard order?

“I’m a Reese’s Blizzard guy,” Wes said. “Just nice and simple, I don’t mess around with any of the extra accoutrements… What about you?”

“I do the same,” Marty Smith agreed. “The Reese’s cup Blizzard is the greatest dessert in the world. It is undefeated, it cannot be even remotely rivaled.”

Once they settled that, they eventually go on the topic of their favorite pizza. While they each shared some local favorites from their hometown or from their college days, they got to talking about how great old school Pizza Hut used to be. Especially from back in the day when they offered the in-store buffets.

“Old school the Hut was the bomb and on a lot of levels for me,” Marty Smith said on the podcast. “Because in Pearisburg, we had Hardees, Dairy Queen, Tasty Freeze, and Pizza Hut. That’s what we had.”

“But the Pizza Hut was an experience,” he added. “We didn’t get to have Pizza Hut very often when I was real young. But as I aged and got into high school, we had Pizza Hut every Sunday. We would order the Hut, momma and I would go pick up the Hut, and we’d come back and we’d watch NFL football as a family eating the Hut.”

The guys talk about that and much more on the newest episode of The Marty Smith Podcast. Make sure to check out their entire conversation below, or listen to the full interview on Spotify, Apple, or wherever else you listen to your favorite podcasts.