Friend and Snow Machine Racing Partner of the 'First Dude' 'On the Record'

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," September 10, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: This is a "FOX News Alert." The state of Alaska is on standby. They are awaiting the arrival of their governor, Sarah Palin. This is her first trip back after Senator McCain tapped her to be the running mate on the Republican ticket for the race to the White House. Governor Palin is probably in Alaskan airspace right now, headed to Fairbanks, Alaska, where our own Dan Springer is standing by -- Dan.

DAN SPRINGER, FOX CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Greta, they're very excited here in Fairbanks. They're calling this the biggest event in Fairbanks since 1982, when Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II met at the tarmac here at this -- at the airport here. I got to tell you, they're expecting about 4,000 people. You can probably hear the band behind me, the high school band. They are expecting now that the plane carrying Governor Palin is about an hour late, so we're expecting her at about 7:15 to 7:30 local time. So we're not going to probably have her during the show.

But we know that Todd Palin will introduce her. And a lot of people excited. This is a very important spot here, Fairbanks, for her. She had her inauguration here back in 2006. She's the first governor in Alaska history to hold the inauguration outside of the city of Juneau. So Fairbanks loves Sarah Palin, and she's going to love them right back tonight. This is going to be a big rally here -- Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Dan, who's present there from her family? Or is her family traveling with her?

SPRINGER: I think her family is with her. We have not seen them here. We do know that Todd is with her, obviously, and he'll be, you know, coming on the stage and introducing her today. We know some friends are here from all over the state. On the plane up from Anchorage, we saw some friends and family -- or not family but friends of hers from Wasilla. So they're here.

But you know, I got to tell you, this crowd would actually be bigger, Greta, if it weren't for the fact that moose season started a couple of days ago. I talked to a state senator who's a big supporter of Sarah Palin, and he said, You know, I just -- I really want to make it, but I got to go moose hunting. So it's going to be a big crowd, but it could be bigger if not for the moose.

VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, tomorrow's a big day in the Palin family because their son is headed to Iraq, deploys from Fairbanks, so a big day there tomorrow. Dan, if you'll stand by because we'll be right back with you in a minute.

In the meantime, I'm here with Scott Davis, who is a friend of the "first dude."


VAN SUSTEREN: How do you know the first dude?

DAVIS: Mostly through snowmobile racing.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, you say snowmobile. Since I've been up here, I've been told a couple things. One is that you don't call the governor Governor, you call her Sarah. The second thing, it's not snowmobile, it's snow machine.

DAVIS: I guess it depends on what part of the country you're from, but we'll take either one.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. You're a seven-time winner of this incredible 2,000-mile race. The first dude, he's only won it how many times?

DAVIS: Four times.

VAN SUSTEREN: Four times. It's a big number, though, four.

DAVIS: Yes, it is.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is this race?

DAVIS: It's a two-man two-machine 2,000-mile race across the Alaska wilderness.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, to many of us, that sounds a little crazy.

DAVIS: Probably a lot of people. (LAUGHTER)

Watch Greta's interview

VAN SUSTEREN: And the speeds? I mean, it gets even crazier if you go through -- how fast do you go?

DAVIS: You know, the top speed probably around 100 miles an hour, which isn't real common. But you know, the average speed for the 2,000 miles will be in the 50s, probably 38 hours to ride 2,000 miles, which is hard to do in a car.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, the first dude, as I'll call him during this segment, got hurt in February when this race (INAUDIBLE) What happened to him?

DAVIS: You know, he just hit a barrel that was frozen, river bank outside of Galina (ph), you know, kind of ripped off the side of his suspension and A-arms (ph) and sent him flying. Took him in, tried to get him some medical attention. He wouldn't -- he refused it. And so we patched him back together and continued on. And when we got to the finish line, he went to the doctor and ended up had a broken arm. And (INAUDIBLE) worked on a snowmobile for two hours and rode 500 miles to the finish line with a broken arm.

VAN SUSTEREN: He sounds pretty tough.

DAVIS: He's a tough guy.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Do you know about his wife?


VAN SUSTEREN: You've met her?

DAVIS: I've heard of her! (LAUGHTER)

VAN SUSTEREN: She has sort of an interesting job.

DAVIS: Very much.

VAN SUSTEREN: What can you tell us about the governor?

DAVIS: Just a real hard worker and has the people's best interests at heart.

VAN SUSTEREN: You like her, then.

DAVIS: Absolutely.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you think about the possibility? I mean, we don't know what's going to happen, long time between now and election day. But can you see the first dude as being the vice president's spouse?

DAVIS: Absolutely.


DAVIS: Well, I just think, you know, the Palins just have a tendency to overcome whatever gets put in front of them, so I think they'll -- they'll do the best they can, and I think the American people are behind them.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, this may come as a big surprise, but we don't get much snow in Washington. So snow machine -- we don't have any snow machine competitions. What about that come February, if his wife gets elected?

DAVIS: Well, we hope that he can still find his way to an aircraft and come back here and race with me. So I mean, his -- he's made a commitment to me to do it for 2009, and we'll see what happens.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you wear a helmet and gear for this? Because if you're going 100 miles an hour -- what kind of gear do you wear?

DAVIS: Well, you know, helmets and goggles and a face mask and all the high-tech, you know, cold weather gear that we can, Goretex and shells and layering. You know, the wind chill -- I don't know -- at 50 below at 100 miles an hour, I don't know what that is, but it's extreme temperatures. So it's really important to keep the wind off you, so big windshields and really good wind-proof clothing and lots of practice.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. At the risk of getting a lot of motorcycle riders mad at me, I told my husband I'd divorce him if he rode a motorcycle, he bought a motorcycle. Does Governor Palin ever say to her husband, 100 miles an hour on a snow machine, can't you find another hobby?

DAVIS: Not that I know of. I've never heard her say that. I think she's behind Todd 110 percent.

VAN SUSTEREN: And you don't -- I mean, people don't here think -- that's a little -- I mean, it's one thing to ride a snow machine, and I'm - - you know, I've ridden one. I'm from Wisconsin. I've ridden one. But at 100 miles an hour, 2,000 miles all the way to Nome, Alaska, and back, as fast as you possibly can isn't your usual snow machine ride.

DAVIS: No, it's not. It is -- you know, it's the world's toughest, longest snowmobile race. And it's a very unique sport. It's not just about endurance, it's about navigation. It's about snowmobile preparation. It's about making field repairs, making good decisions when you're really tired and dehydrated. So it's a, you know, ultimate test of man and machine for 2,000 miles.

VAN SUSTEREN: Have you ever seen the governor on one?

DAVIS: On a snowmobile? Yes.


DAVIS: Well, I was just -- she was tooling around the starting line a time or two, but I know she did a women's ride here, a benefit here not too long ago. And I don't remember the distance of that, but -- so she's got plenty of experience on snow machines.

VAN SUSTEREN: When did you first meet Todd?

DAVIS: You know, I met him through racing, I don't know, 15 or 20 years ago. We were, you know, opposing competitors in the Iron Dog. And you know, seven years or so ago, we each were looking for new partners about the same time and ended up hooking up. And he's been a great partner, a tough guy, as I -- you know, he demonstrated last year.

VAN SUSTEREN: The governor is probably in Alaskan airspace right now. A lot of people excited in Fairbanks. This is her first return. Are you excited about this?

DAVIS: Absolutely.


DAVIS: Yes. It's just -- it's contagious. The excitement for the whole state has been really, really good. Everybody's upbeat, very positive about, you know, Sarah running for vice president. And it's kind of put Alaska, and especially Wasilla, on the map.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you watch her speech at the Republican national convention?

DAVIS: I did.

VAN SUSTEREN: Before she took the stage, were you nervous?

DAVIS: Probably more than she was. (LAUGHTER)


DAVIS: You know, I was just worried about, I suppose, what the public was going to think of her. And you know, a few sentences into that speech, and you know, I knew she had hit a home run, so...

VAN SUSTEREN: Did she seem any different to you, more formal on the stage? Or what was your impression watching her give that speech?

DAVIS: She just seemed like Sarah, you know? I mean, I don't think either one of them have changed very much, from what I can see. I just -- same two guy, just a little -- same two people, just a little busier.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, the governor is, no doubt, in Alaskan airspace, probably with the first dude. What are you going to say to him when you see him? I know you saw him in Minnesota at the snow machine event, but what are you going to say to him when you see him next?

DAVIS: I'm going to ask him if he's still on for the Iron Dog for 2009...


DAVIS: ... Is what I'm going to ask him. (LAUGHTER)

VAN SUSTEREN: That's a good idea, or you're going to be traveling alone. It's a buddy system, though, so anyway...

DAVIS: Yes. Absolutely.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, good luck. Actually, probably a lot of us will be watching that contest this year because we know an awful lot more than we did before. Thank you very much. Nice to see you.

DAVIS: Thank you.

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