He’s been a stunt car driver for Iron Man 2. He’s the all-time medal winner (nine total) in RallyCross at the X Games. He won the Global RallyCross Championship. He’s got a degree in molecular biology. Tanner Foust is clearly a well-rounded individual — and he’s accomplished all of this before the age of 40. The young Mr. Foust was also the very first driver in Formula Drift to win the championship series two years consecutively, but he’s not all go go go. He’s also the co-host of the American version of Top Gear on the History Channel, now in its fourth season. How he finds the time to thrash the track, co-host a TV show and bone up on human physiology is beyond us, but we were able to spend a few minutes with Foust to talk about his upcoming projects and what gets him going.
Q. What’s one thing every man should know?
How to change your oil and change a tire.
Q. What are you working on right now?
Just finished shooting the 52nd episode of Top Gear
Q. Name one thing you can’t live without.
Aside from certain people in my life, I’d say some gadgets have become invaluable to me, mainly because I don’t remember anyone’s phone number anymore. However, it’s my Amex card that’s one of the most critical things I travel with; even if I were to lose just about everything while traveling, the Amex/passport combo could replace nearly all of it in a short time.
Q: Who or what influences you?
I’m influenced by relationships, both professional and personal. In professional situations things like loyalty, mutual respect and a positive environment for further integration motivate me to overachieve at every corner. I suppose the same applies to personal relationships.
Q. What are you reading right now?
Since I’m over my head in a home remodel right now, I’m flipping pages of every DWELL
and architectural magazine I can get a hold of!
Q. Name one thing no one knows about you.
I think I might be lactose intolerant…
Q. Briefly describe your experience hosting Top Gear USA.
is a strangely rewarding journey into adolescence. We can bicker, compete, dream and play like kids, but the best part is that with each crazy trip to a faraway land or ridiculous task we have to perform, we do it all with a serious face on for the camera! It’s like having great vacations recorded by 50 amazing cinematographers, audio people and editors so you can relive them over and over.
In a race a few years ago in Norway I touched wheels with Timo, the Russian, and was sent straight into an immovable wall at over 65 mph.
Q. What’s the craziest thing that ever happened to you in a race or at the X Games?
In a race a few years ago in Norway I touched wheels with Timo, the Russian, and was sent straight into an immovable wall at over 65 mph. The hit was huge and would have absolutely demolished a street car. I walked away barely sore because of my HANS device and safety gear. The crazy part was that I had forgotten to put the HANS on at the starting line and risked missing the start seconds before the green light by taking the precaution of hooking it up. Click, click and the lights went green; I made it just in time, and then CRASH! I would have died without that last-second realization that they weren’t hooked. This is why pilots have checklists!
Q. What do the next five years look like for you?
Good lord. That sounds like my mom!
Q. Molecular biology degree? What gives?
The family biz is medicine, and I was not cutting the grades in my first major, aerospace engineering (50 ski days at Vail the first year didn’t help). I like to geek out and frankly I find the physiology or engineering of nature fascinating.