My interview with David Ragan was a bit of a guerrilla deal. I didn’t schedule it ahead of time. At Sonoma this year, after I confronted Kasey Kahne about his Hottest Driver Tournament wins, we went in search of a another driver that I could interview.
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I interviewed David Stremme at Sonoma Raceway last month and he was great. Drivers are never expecting these questions so it’s always fun to see their reactions. Stremme was no different, he was really funny and gave some great answers.
I had the wonderful opportunity to chat with Denny Hamlin’s girlfriend, Jordan Fish. Jordan met Denny when she was a dancer for the Charlotte Bobcats five years ago and since then their relationship has grown to the point where they’re now ready to welcome their first child — a girl — into the world later this month. Jordan is super sweet, honest and open. I had a blast talking with her about her life with Denny and learning more about who she is as a person.
On the day of the last race of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season I had the opportunity to interview Ryan Newman (as you can see in the photo above). This was all thanks to his sponsor Quicken Loans who brought me down to Miami last month. It was a quick but really interesting conversation.
The thing I love the most about interviewing wives & girlfriends of NASCAR drivers is that you get to see them through a different perspective. That different view, of seeing them as regular people, is my number one goal for this site (well, that and getting to do this full-time) and it’s the reason I was really excited to interview Kyle Busch‘s wife, Samantha. I sent Samantha a bunch of questions that she’s answered — awesomely — below. I really think you’ll dig this interview and maybe look at Kyle differently as a result.
I’ve been pretty clear about the fact that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the reason that I became a NASCAR fan and subsequently a NASCAR blogger. I’ve chronicled what it meant to me to get to stand in on one of his press conferences and how the MTV documentary “True Life: I’m a a race car driver” is what piqued my interest in racing.
I’m so happy to share a new interview with you guys, it’s been awhile! I met with Scott Speed at the road course track in Sonoma (formerly Infineon Raceway) during the NASCAR race weekend back in June. He’s a fellow northern California native so it was especially good to meet him and get his fun answers to these questions.
Five-time Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson was my final interview at this year’s Champion’s Week in Las Vegas. He’s also the only driver (so far) that’s actually met James Lipton who hosts Inside the Actor’s Studio on Bravo and asks these very same questions of his guests. So in a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon sort of way I’m now connected to James Lipton.
Another interview and another first. Now I’ve interviewed both a wife and a husband, first DeLana Harvick and now Kevin Harvick. I spoke to Kevin during this year’s Champion’s Week in Las Vegas (and let him know that I asked DeLana these same questions) and it was very clear — as he acknowledges at one point — that he wasn’t in the right frame of mind to answer my random questionnaire. He still did a great job and I completely understand how my questions could throw him since they’re no where near the standard issue questions you get during that week (or at any time really during the season). Still, superfun (and funny)!
Ryan Newman had never heard of Inside the Actor’s Studio but he said he’d “go with it” when I interviewed him in Las Vegas earlier this month. He was very nice and “go with it” he did. I think he earns the distinction as the first driver to spell out his favorite curse word.
Richard Childress is many things. He is the owner of Richard Childress Racing, the grandfather to up & coming NASCAR drivers Austin & Ty Dillon, the man that will make you hold is watch while he puts some guy in a headlock and the second NASCAR team owner I’ve had the pleasure to interview (Chip Ganassi is the first). I caught up with him in Las Vegas after he’d won the Buddy Shuman award at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon and his answers to the ITAS questions are awesome. He didn’t hesitate or take a really long time to answer the last question, it seemed like something he’s thought about.
The following interview with Denny Hamlin took place in Las Vegas during this year’s Champion’s Week. You might ask yourself who “Bill” is while reading this and I can’t tell you who he is either, I didn’t stop to ask him before going on to the next question. Did I mention that getting interviews with all the drivers on my list was my top priority? So I was in full on autopilot mode of “Just keep going!!! There’s no time! No time!” Anyway… If you know the Bill he’s referring to please let us know in the comments.
Not going to lie, it was very cool to get to interview Dale Earnhardt Jr. He’s a big part of why I have this blog and why I love NASCAR. I can’t even process the fact that I spoke to him and said, “Hi Dale” like I knew him or something. I spoke words to him and he spoke words back to me. He said, “Thank you” to me after I said,”Thank you” to him, when it was all over. Crazy, right?
So this is the first of several “Inside the Actor’s Studio” interviews I completed while I was in Las Vegas for Champion’s Week. Jeff Gordon’s birthplace is Vallejo, California which is only 25 minutes from where I grew up and still not that far from where I live now. So he’s obviously someone I’ve known about since I was a kid outside of the fact that he’s a four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. And obviously it was a HUGE deal to meet and interview him. He’s a very nice man who always gives thoughtful answers to any question anyone throws at him. So this was fun. Enjoy!
This is a sort of “bonus” interview I got to do with DeLana Harvick, wife of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver & 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship contender Kevin Harvick, during the Kansas Speedway race weekend last month. You can read my long-form interview with her here.
I had the awesome opportunity to meet and interview DeLana Harvick at Kansas Speedway last weekend. DeLana is married to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick, who pilots the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing (RCR). Kevin is currently 2nd in The Chase for the Sprint Cup Series Championship points standings, just ONE point behind the leader, Carl Edwards. Needless to say, this has been a big year for the Harvicks, one that included moving the racing side of Kevin Harvick Inc. over to RCR.
I met and interviewed Camping World Truck Series driver Matt Crafton during the hauler tour for SYLVANIA during the New Hampshire Motor Speedway race weekend last month. Matt drives the No. 88 Menards Chevrolet for ThorSport Racing. He’s currently 8th in the points standings and hails from Tulare, California which is the same hometown as my brother-in-law. I knew there was a reason why I liked Matt Crafton.
I had the opportunity to interview popular IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan at Infineon Raceway this year. Tony, or “TK” as people like to call him, was so very nice and a fun interview.
I interviewed Ryan Briscoe, driver of the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara-Honda, at Infineon Raceway during the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma weekend last month. It was great getting to meet him and ask him these fun questions. The more I do it, the more it feels like I’m giving people a 3 minute psych test or something. I love it. When Ryan gave me his original answer for his favorite word he wasn’t totally satisfied with it, so he tweeted me later with his final answer.
I interviewed Helio Castroneves just before the autograph session that he and his Penske teammates were taking part of at the Macy’s men’s store in San Francisco the week of the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway.
I didn’t realize until just now that I missed a question in the questionnaire, which is crazy considering I’ve asked these questions a million times now. Anyway, it’s still a good interview. Helio laughs a lot and has a great personality. He’s just as you’ve seen him on TV, which is very refreshing.