Bearded David Letterman looks back on IndyCar season

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David Letterman appears to be loving retirement - and has the beard to show for it.

Pictures of the former late night host sporting a very Santa-esque beard at Sunday's IndyCar finale at Sonoma were a hit online following the race. 

He spoke with Dave Calabro at the season-ending banquet in San Francisco Monday night about racing and, of course, the facial hair.

"Who would hire me in this condition? I decided this would be my championship beard and I just told Bobby (Rahal) that I'll shave it when we win. I was hoping it would be gone by now," Letterman said.

As much fun as social media is having with Letterman's new look, he says he's not so sure he likes it.

"I look like a guy you wouldn't pick up hitchhiking."

Letterman is part owner of the team that nearly won the IndyCar championship with driver Graham Rahal, who he says grew more confident as the season moved on.

"He would just hunt guys down. He'd start, I don't know, midfield some place, and he would get a guy and he would run him down and get him off the podium," Letterman said. "There was a difference, to me, the casual, uneducated observer, in how he was approaching the races."

Letterman says winning another Indianapolis 500 at next year's 100th running would be great for him, but even more so for his driver.

"I would be so happy for Graham. I love his father, I love his family, I've known them for a long time and any connection to them has only been flattering to me," Letterman said.