All posts in Interviews

75 Posts
cknaus_itas_featured

interview: inside the actor’s studio with chad knaus

Chad Knaus with his girlfriend, Lisa RockelmannChad Knaus is the spectacularly successful crew chief of the No. 48 Lowe’s team at Hendrick Motorsports. He celebrated the team’s fifth-straight NASAR Sprint Cup Series Championship with his driver, Jimmie Johnson, in Las Vegas for Champion’s Week which is where this interview occurred.

My only regret was not getting to interview Jimmie with the same questions as he was seated right next to Chad in the press room. Jimmie wasn’t occupied with anyone during my time with Chad and I can’t for the life of me remember why I didn’t just go to him next, he must of started talking to someone and I didn’t want to wait is my best guess.

Anyway, the interview with Chad was great as you can read/see below. He hasn’t been “turned off” in quite some time. :)


What is your favorite word? No

What is your least favorite word? No. Being told “No.” *laughter*

What turns you on? Winning

What turns you off? Losing

What sound or noise do you love? I love the sound of the ocean.

What sound or noise do you hate? People arguing.

What is your favorite curse word? I don’t think I can say that. *laughter* Favorite curse word? Probably “Damnit.”

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I would like to at some point to get to work inside a business environment, be a board member or something along those lines.

What profession would you not like to do? Work in a factory.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Good job.


Read more of my “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questionnaire interviews in the archives and read about how it all started with Tony Stewart.

cbowyer_itas_featured

interview: inside the actor’s studio with clint bowyer

Clint Bowyer (credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 33 Cheerios Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, is a character for sure. He’s a funny guy and I’m really happy with how this interview turned out–I laughed while I transcribed it! Hopefully all of that comes through. In addition to the questions below I asked Clint if he had any special plans for the off-season and he said, “Whatever I want, that’s what’s nice about the off-season you have the opportunity to do whatever you want for a while.”

This ranks up there as one of my favorites for sure. I had to leave in our conversation about these answers because without it, it just wouldn’t make sense and it makes it funnier. :)

What is your favorite word? *laughter* I can’t tell you

What is your least favorite word? No

What turns you on? Everything. Well, this is not fair! *laughter* (Me: Yes it is!) What turns me on? Uh, cars.

What turns you off? Penalties. Penalties suck.

What sound or noise do you love? An engine turning 9500 RPM.

What sound or noise do you hate? An engine expiring.

What is your favorite curse word? I cannot tell you that. I like ‘em all. I put ‘em all in play, put it that way.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? *laughter* I don’t know, give me a good one, what would you do? You gotta help me sound cool. (Me: Uhh, I don’t know, an actor?) Uh, a rockstar.

What profession would you not like to do? Uh, man. How about that one, what profession would we not want to do? This is collective group effort. (Me: I’ve heard sewage stuff, trash collector) I was going to say shit hauler would be bad. Shit hauler. Is this going to be on, like, public record? (Me: It’s going to be on a blog on the internet, it’s going to be there forever) Oh great, the internet’s forever? I don’t know, help me come up with a better one then. (Me: An office job where you have to sit in one place?) Uhm, man, I don’t know. Try to keep track of me, put it that way.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? What would I like him to say? Welcome! *laughter*


Read more of my “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questionnaire interviews in the archives and read about how it all started with Tony Stewart.

kconway_itas_featured

interview: inside the actor’s studio with kevin conway

Kevin ConwayRaybestos Rookie of the Year award-winner Kevin Conway started the 2010 season in the Sprint Cup Series driving for Front Row Motorsports but ended it with Robby Gordon Motorsports. I met Kevin in Las Vegas after the NMPA Myers Bros. Awards Luncheon where he officially received his Rookie of the Year award.

This is the second of my “Inside the Actor’s Studio” interviews that I did during Champion’s Week. There are many more to come so stay tuned. :)

What is your favorite word? This year I would have to say it’s been “Plethora” and I really don’t know why, it’s just been used a lot.

What is your least favorite word? Probably “hmm,” I hate it when a girl is like “hmm, hmm.”

What turns you on? Being competitive and winning races.

What turns you off? Negativity

What sound or noise do you love? Race cars

What sound or noise do you hate? Silence

What is your favorite curse word? The F-word can be used in so many different ways, so it’s probably the best 4-letter word because it’s used in many different ways.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? If I couldn’t be a race car driver I’d probably like to be a fighter pilot.

What profession would you not like to do? Anything in a cubicle or a desk job.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Welcome, welcome home.


Read more of my “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questionnaire interviews in the archives and read about how it all started with Tony Stewart.

featured_sspake

interview: inside the actor’s studio with shannon spake

Shannon SpakeShannon Spake is a pit reporter for both the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series telecasts on ESPN and is a reporter for ESPN’s studio programs such as NASCAR Now, SportsCenter and ESPNEWS. She’s also a wife and a mother to twin boys who will celebrate their 1st birthday on New Year’s Day.

Shannon, just like her ESPN co-workers, was super nice and gracious. I asked to interview her and Marty Smith on the fly while in the press box at Auto Club Speedway back in October. So I really appreciated the time they took to answer these questions after I sprung the request on them out of the blue.

Again, more great answers!

:)

What is your favorite word? Determination

What is your least favorite word? Failure

What turns you on? Being completely satisfied in something I just accomplished.

What turns you off? Laziness

What sound or noise do you love? I have twin boys, the sound of them–whether it’s crying or laughing–just the sounds that they make.

What sound or noise do you hate? The sound of nails on a chalk board or knives on a plate.

What is your favorite curse word? A–hole.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Maybe an actor, I think. I think it would be fun to be on a movie set with everything being fake and so over the top, I think it would be fun to be a part of that world.

What profession would you not like to do? Anything that involves jumping out of airplanes or working at high levels because I’m really afraid of heights and so I think anything that involves being way up in the air in any way, I don’t think I’d be interested in that at all.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? You did well.


Follow Shannon Spake on Twitter

What is your favorite word? Determination

What is your least favorite word? Failure

What turns you on? Being completely satisfied in something I just accomplished.

What turns you off? Laziness

What sound or noise do you love? I have twin boys, the sound of them — whether it’s crying or laughing or squealing — just the sounds that they make.

What sound or noise do you hate? The sound of nails on a chalk board or knives on a plate.

What is your favorite curse word? A–hole.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Maybe an actor, I think. I think it would be fun to be on a movie set with everything being fake and so over the top, I think it would be fun to be a part of that world.

What profession would you not like to do? Anything that involves jumping out of airplanes or working at high levels because I’m really afraid of heights and so I think anything that involves being way up in the air in any way, I don’t think I’d be interested in that at all.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? You did well.


Follow Shannon on Twitter
@SSpakeESPN


Read more of my “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questionnaire interviews in the archives and read about how it all started with Tony Stewart.

Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 - Practice

interview: inside the actor’s studio with jeff burton

CONCORD, NC - OCTOBER 14: Jeff Burton, driver of the  Caterpillar Chevrolet, strands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 14, 2010 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)Jeff Burton, driver of the No. 31 CAT Chevrolet Impala for Richard Childress Racing, is cool. He finished the year 12th in points and out of the drivers I interviewed in Las Vegas he struck me as the most “polished.” And I guess what I mean by that is that he was professional but relaxed and just himself. He just seemed the most mature, not that everyone else wasn’t it’s just that you understand why people always look to him for his opinions.

Later when I was interviewing Matt Kenseth, Jeff was standing nearby waiting to hear Matt’s answer for “favorite curse word.” When I asked Matt about what turns him off he had a hard time and looked to Jeff and said, “How can you answer these?” to which Jeff replied, “Everything’s not sexual, Matt.” It was so funny and all said with a laugh.

MartySmithAction2

interview: inside the actor’s studio with marty smith

ESPN's Marty SmithMarty Smith is a really nice guy. And I’m not just saying that because I know he’s going to read this at some point. I just appreciated how nice he was to me when I introduced myself to him during Champion’s Week last year and every time I’ve seen him since then he’s 1.) remembered me and 2.) stayed cool. Why is this important or notable? Because he doesn’t have to be like that. He could be a prima donna and he’s not.

Marty is a writer and reports for ESPN2′s daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now, as well as SportsCenter, ESPN First Take, ESPNEWS and ESPN.com.

Marty’s interview was fun because his answers were really thoughtful. If you follow him on Twitter then you already know that he’s a serious fan, and friend, of country artist Eric Church which makes sense when you read his answer for the job he’d like to attempt. A fun fact is that he shares the same turn-off as his ESPN co-worker Brad Daugherty.

:)


What is your favorite word? Credibility

What is your least favorite word? Money. The reason that that is my least favorite word is because I think it drives the perception of worth entirely too much in our society. There’s a whole lot of things that are richer in life than green paper.

What turns you on? Intelligence

What turns you off? Haughtiness

What sound or noise do you love? My son and daughter’s laughter.

What sound or noise do you hate? Plastic being pulled across concrete.

What is your favorite curse word? The S-word.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? A country music songwriter in Nashville, who wrote songs that send a message, real and honest and far from pop, that offered truth about real-life issues and adversity and failure and triumph, that spoke to people on an intimate level and and didn’t dilute the highway of truth that country music is. Of course, I’d hope my songs were coveted by great artists, and actually recorded. For me, nothing triggers introspection and true emotion like a great song. Songwriters are the most talented people on Earth, as far as I’m concerned.

What profession would you not like to do? I would not like to be a doctor based on the fact that there is so much at stake.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? I appreciate the way you treated people while you were there. Thank you for your convictions. Come on in, brother!


Read more of my “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questionnaire interviews in the archives and read about how it all started with Tony Stewart.

NASCAR Now - 2007 - 
Brad Daugherty

inside the actor’s studio with brad daugherty

Valli Hilaire interviews ESPN Analyst Brad Daughtery at Auto Club Speedway in October 2010 (credit: ESPN PR)I interviewed Brad Daugherty, NASCAR Race Analyst for ESPN, at Auto Club Speedway this year. We all know that Brad is a former professional basketball player and is really, really tall but it’s not until you meet him that you really, really realize it.

I’m sure Brad must be asked how tall is all the time and I didn’t want to ask him, but it just came out because, you guys, he’s REALLY tall. Seven feet tall to be exact. I’m 5’9” and he’s in the small group of people in this world that has ever made me feel small in their presence, as you can see from the photo at left.
:)
But more importantly Brad was a great interview. He’s super nice and not “haughty” at all, as you’ll see below.


What is your favorite word? Ancillary. I like to say ancillary. I use that a lot, even out of context.

What is your least favorite word? Surreptitiously. It’s a very difficult word, sounds really smart but it’s really difficult to say, especially when you’re on TV, so I try to stay away from that word.

What turns you on? Beautiful, sunny days like today, it really gets my attention. I feel good, really energized. I got up this morning and opened the blinds and saw the sunshine, it just really makes me feel good. About everything feels better, I went and ran this morning, felt great. I love a beautiful, sunny day.

What turns you off? Haughty* people. We meet a lot of successful people because of what I did playing pro basketball and what I do now. You meet a lot of people who think they’re successful because they’ve made a lot of money and there’s an air that comes with that that really irks me and bothers me.

What sound or noise do you love? I love the sound of a racecar, a racecar engine. I’ve been around the sport for 30 years and every time they say “gentlemen, start your engines” I still get goosebumps.

What sound or noise do you hate? Fingernails on a chalkboard.

What is your favorite curse word? I try not to curse, but I’m an old mountain boy so I say “Dang it” or “Daggum it” a lot, a lot. My kids have gotten me to say “Sugar” instead of saying the other word, so I say “Daggum it” and “Sugar” a lot.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Love to be a hunting or fishing guide somewhere in the world. I love the outdoors. I love to hunt and fish. And I’d love to spend enough time in one really isolated place that I knew the region well enough to guide and teach and help. Being a hunting and fishing guide would be awesome.

What profession would you not like to do? I would not like to tar roofs. I see those guys out there in the middle of the summer time taring roofs and that’s got to be a tough, tough job.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? When I do get there, I hope he has a great sense of humor and I’d like to hear him say, “You were not always right, you were very faulty, but I appreciate your heart and your effort,” and if he says that I’d be tickled.

*haugh·ty [haw-tee]
–adjective, -ti·er, -ti·est.
1. disdainfully proud; snobbish; scornfully arrogant; supercilious: 
haughty aristocrats; a haughty salesclerk.


Read more of my “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questionnaire interviews in the archives and read about how it all started with Tony Stewart.

inside the actor’s studio with brad keselowski

KANSAS CITY, KS - OCTOBER 02: Brad Keselowski, driver of the  Penske Dodge, stands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Price Chopper 400 on October 2, 2010 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)So this was my favorite driver interview with the ITAS questions, so far. Brad Keselowski drives the No. 12 Penske Dodge in the Sprint Cup Series, and the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge in the Nationwide Series for Penske Racing. With only 3 races left, Brad is on track to win his first NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship this year (he’s 485 points ahead of Carl Edwards, so this is a lock).

I met him outside of his hauler after his qualifying attempt at Auto Club Speedway for the Pepsi Max 400 last month. I wasn’t sure what to expect from him, I guess I thought he might be kinda boring. I don’t know why I thought that but he was really fun and gave some interesting answers as you’ll see below. I guess I was surprised by how relaxed and conversational he was, there were no walls up or some sort of facade. He was really nice and now that I know how he is, I want to ask him, like, way more questions.

inside the actor’s studio with travis kvapil

INDIANAPOLIS - JULY 25: Travis Kvapil, driver of the  Long John Silver's Ford, stands by his car during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)Travis Kvapil drives the No. 34 Long John Silver’s Ford for Front Row Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Travis was the first driver I’d interviewed at Auto Club Speedway during the Pepsi Max 400 race weekend and he was also the first driver to say that his wife was what turns him on. That ended up being a popular answer that weekend.

You can tell from this interview that Travis is big family guy and loves his children, Kelsey, Carson and Caden, dearly. So much so that he was the subject of a post about that fact over at the Yahoo! motorsports blog From the Marbles.

I dug his answer for least favorite word, I need to remember that saying. Seriously, between Travis and David Gilliland, the drivers at Front Row Motorsports are really helping me become a better person!

:)

What is your favorite word? Green, Green, Green (He loves to hear that every Sunday)

What is your least favorite word? Can’t. I preach to my daughter “can’t never does.”

What turns you on? My wife and fast cars.

What turns you off? Pessimistic, downer-type people.

What sound or noise do you love? Race car engines and probably just my kids running around the house playing.

What sound or noise do you hate? Two or three in the morning when the kids wake up crying from being sick.

What is your favorite curse word? Definitely the F-bomb. I overuse it and I try not to so much around the kids for sure.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I’d like to be a pro football player, a quarterback. I think that’d be awesome.

What profession would you not like to do? Not because it’s that crummy of a job, but a truck driver or freight hauler where you’d be away from your family for a long time.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Welcome.


Read more of my “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questionnaire interviews in the archives and read about how it all started with Tony Stewart.

inside the actor’s studio with david gilliland

FORT WORTH, TX - APRIL 16: David Gilliland, driver of the #37 Taco Bell Ford, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 16, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)David Gilliland drives the No. 37 Taco Bell Ford Fusion for Front Row Motorsports. I got to give him the Inside the Actor’s Studio/Bernard Pivot questionnaire at Auto Club Speedway during the Pepsi Max 400 race weekend.

His least favorite word struck a chord with me because I’ve been guilty of using it and I have really made a concerted effort in the past few months to not use it anymore. It’s just not cool and totally unnecessary.

What is your favorite word? Cool

What is your least favorite word? Retard. I hate it when people use that word.

What turns you on? My wife

What turns you off? Smelly people

What sound or noise do you love? The sound of an engine running

What sound or noise do you hate? Nails on a chalkboard

What is your favorite curse word? Damn

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Professional fisherman

What profession would you not like to do? Trash collector

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Welcome


Read more of my “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questionnaire interviews in the archives and read about how it all started with Tony Stewart.

inside the actor’s studio with marcos ambrose

Marcos Ambrose chats with The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pepsi Max 400 on October 9, 2010 in Fontana, California. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)I interviewed Marcos Ambrose, driver of the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota, right after the first practice session on the Friday before the Pepsi Max 400 at Auto Club Speedway. I got the distinct impression that he wasn’t very happy with his car and I think you might get that idea too after you check out his answers to the ITAS

Still, he had some fun answers and this was the first time I’ve ever had to go to the dictionary (well, dictionary.com) to find out how to properly spell a person’s response.

:)

What is your favorite word? G’day

What is your least favorite word? Cattywampus*

What turns you on? Racing cars going fast

What turns you off? Bad handling race cars

What sound or noise do you love? Sound of an engine

What sound or noise do you hate? Birds

What is your favorite curse word? The F-bomb

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Professional golfer

What profession would you not like to do? Anything to do with sewage

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Would you like a second shot?


*The definition of cattywampus:
–adjective
1. askew; awry.
2. positioned diagonally; cater-cornered.


Read more of my “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questionnaire interviews in the archives and read about how it all started with Tony Stewart.

inside the actor’s studio with juan pablo montoya

HOLLYWOOD - OCTOBER 06: Racecar driver Juan Pablo Montoya attends the Auto Club Speedway and Tissot Event at Voyeur on October 6, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)Now that I’ve finally finished my writeups of the Pepsi Max 400 race weekend at Auto Club Speedway I can finally get to my the interviews I did while I was there.

My interview with Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the No. 42 Target Chevy for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, was VERY fun as you’ll see below. That guy had some great answers. But another interesting story I heard about Juan Pablo came from a conversation I had with a German journalist covering the race that weekend. We chatted about Formula 1 racing and how they treat the media (not very well at all) and the difference between interviewing F1 drivers and NASCAR drivers, more specifically how Juan Pablo has changed as an interviewee since leaving F1 and coming to NASCAR. The journalist told me how surprised he was to find a much more chatty Juan Pablo that weekend than he had met back in his F1 days, a time when you’d leave the interview wondering why you bothered in the first place.

I’m so glad I got to meet the more relaxed Juan Pablo! :)

interview: inside the actor’s studio with chip ganassi

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JULY 03: Team owner Chip Ganassi stands in the pit box during the Grand-Am Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for ISC)So here’s how this interview came about: My brother-in-law’s brother works with a childhood friend of Chip Ganassi’s. My BIL’s brother told his coworker about me and my blog, and it just so happened that the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway was coming up, and he, Chip’s friend, was going to be at the race and could introduce me to the team owner.

I am super grateful to both men for making this happen. I was excited that I could meet Chip, especially this year when so many wonderful things have happened for Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, winning the Daytona 500 with Jamie McMurray, the Indianapolis 500 with Dario Franchitti and the Brickyard 400 with Jamie McMurray.

Incidentally, yesterday was my birthday but it was also declared “Chip Ganassi Day” in Pittsburgh, PA.

I was very nervous meeting Chip, but he was nice and had a good sense of humor about the ITAS questions as you’ll see below.

interview: inside the actor’s studio with elliott sadler

LOUDON, NH - JUNE 26: Elliott Sadler, driver of the  Stanley Ford, walks to the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on June 26, 2010 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for NASCAR)Meeting and interviewing Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 19 Stanley Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports, was fun. Plain and simple fun. He’s a funny guy, very personable and clearly in love with his 5-month-old son, Wyatt. In addition to asking him those same 10 questions from ITAS, I asked him about being a new father and how, if at all, it’s changed his approach to racing.

“No,” said Elliott. “My feeling about racing has not changed at all other than I’m more determined now than ever because I don’t want my son to think I’m a failure. That’s the biggest thing. I take more things to heart. When we run bad I take it a lot worse now than when I did before he was born just because I don’t want him to think that his dad couldn’t do this or shouldn’t do this.”

When he said that I had, like, 50 internal responses going on at the same time. First, I wanted to tell him that his son is going to love him no matter what place he finishes in a race. Then at the same time I was, like, “For the love of god please let him win a race!!” It broke my heart a little bit, if I’m being honest. I wasn’t expecting him to be that candid. I know Elliott can win and maybe getting back with his former crew chief Todd Parrott will help that happen sooner than later.

What is your favorite word? Awesome

What is your least favorite word? Trouble

What turns you on? Being at home, being around my family. I love being from a small town and just being back at home with all my friends and family. It just seems like we never have a bad time, everything’s always going in the right direction.

What turns you off? Any bad Sundays or any frustrating Sunday is a big, big turn off for me.

What sound or noise do you love? The ocean. I go to sleep to it every night with my sound machine. I love it.

What sound or noise do you hate? Alarm clock. It’s always too early.

What is your favorite curse word? The F-bomb.*

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I would have loved to be have been a professional basketball player. I just love that sport. I love following it. It’s a game I’ve always been intrigued by.

What profession would you not like to do? Hockey. I wouldn’t want to do hockey ‘cause I can’t ice skate. I tried ice skating when I was, like, 17 or 18 years old and my butt hurt for a month.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Thank god you made it!

*It should be noted that Elliott polled a bunch of people in the hauler on what cuss word he used the most before settling on his favorite. That was funny.


Valli from The Fast and the Fabulous and Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler and me after I interviewed him at Infineon Raceway this year. :)

Follow Elliott Sadler on Twitter @Elliott_Sadler


Read more of my “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questionnaire interviews in the archives and read about how it all started with Tony Stewart.

interview: inside the actor’s studio with aj allmendinger

CONCORD, NC - MAY 22: AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #43 Best Buy Ford, stands on the grid prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 22, 2010 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)At Infineon I interviewed fellow Bay Area native AJ Allmendinger, asking him ten questions from Inside the Actor’s Studio and he had some good answers.

AJ drives the No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion for Richard Petty Motorsports and he was a very nice & very funny guy. There is a photo of me with AJ but I have made an executive decision to not post it for the very simple reason that I look like crap in it. My eyes were closed too. So I’m sure you all understand why I can’t post it. But wait till I post my interview with Elliott Sadler, that photo came out great. I look respectable in that one. :)

Without further adieu, here are AJ’s answers:

interview: inside the actor’s studio with regan smith

CONCORD, NC - MAY 21: Regan Smith, driver of the #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 21, 2010 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images)Regan Smith drives the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and I got to meet him during the race weekend at Infineon Raceway. Unfortunately, his first road course in three years didn’t end very well, he got caught up in that gnarly crash on the frontstretch and walked away with a fractured wrist. He’s currently 30th in the points standings but hopes to end the year at least in 25th. It may not sound like a big deal but for a team that’s growing and learning to work together ending the year with a slew of top-20, and hopefully top-15, finishes would be great accomplishments.

“Where we started at to where we are now we’ve made some huge gains and we knew that’s what we needed to do coming into this year,” said Smith. “We’ve had a lot of changes, a lot of new people and a lot of stuff that was different for us than last year. So I feel good about where we are right now. I feel like the coming weeks are really going to be good for us, step us up another notch in the garage from where we are right now.”

interview: inside the actor’s studio with david reutimann

LONG POND, PA - JUNE 04: David Reutimann, driver of the #00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota, climbs in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 4, 2010 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)On Friday at Infineon my first questioning of the day was with David Reutimann, driver of the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine for Michael Waltrip Racing. David is dad to his 8-year-old daughter, Emilia, and since it was Father’s Day weekend I thought it only fitting I should ask him a bonus question about what he thought was the best part of being a dad. “I don’t think there’s any downside to being a father,” he said. “I think having an opportunity, especially early on when they start talking, to show them everything that’s completely new to them, like a bird, is the most rewarding thing. And I miss it, too.”

That was such an “Awww” moment. It’s always fun to hear people talk about their children and what it means to have them in their lives. So without further adieu, here are David’s answers to the ten questions. He was a great sport, and I loved his emphatic response at the end (the first!) that Heaven does indeed exist.


What is your favorite word? No

What is your least favorite word? Yes

What turns you on? Driving fast

What turns you off? Fast people in a slow lane. Yea, there’s another lane out there, stay in it. (laughter)

What sound or noise do you love?
I love the sound of basically any race engine.

What sound or noise do you hate? That same noise when it wakes me up too early when I’m in the infield at a race track.

What is your favorite curse word?
Wow, I don’t really have a favorite. I try to avoid it although they do come out. I try not use any of ‘em but I’ve used them all. Probably, “Dang” or a derivative of that.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? A crab fisherman. Just attempt it, (laughter) I don’t know that I could do it full-time.

What profession would you not like to do? An exterminator

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Oh, absolutely Heaven does exist. I would like to hear Him say, “Come on in.”


Read more of my “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questionnaire interviews in the archives and read about how it all started with Tony Stewart.

interview: inside the actor’s studio with martin truex jr.

Martin Truex Jr.I didn’t interview Martin Truex Jr. in person this past weekend at Infineon Raceway, but he was able to answer the questions and email ‘em to me. He’s got some very fun and interesting answers.

:)
—–
What is your favorite word? Sweet
What is your least favorite word? Uber
What turns you on? Fishing
What turns you off? An obnoxious person
What sound or noise do you love? A V-8 engine
What sound or noise do you hate? A 4-cylinder with no muffler
What is your favorite curse word? Shit
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies
What profession would you not like to do? A clammer
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Your granddad is waiting to meet you.


Read more of my “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questionnaire interviews in the archives and read about how it all started with Tony Stewart.

interview: inside the actor’s studio with tony stewart

That's me interviewing Tony Stewart (photo credit: Seth Gregory)On Thursday night in Charlotte I was laying in my bed at the hotel willing my body to heal itself while at the same time wracking my brain trying to think of questions to ask Tony Stewart.

I was set to interview Tony the next day at the Office Depot in Pineville, a small suburb just south of Charlotte, before he signed autographs for his fans.

I didn’t want to ask Tony the usual questions about his car for the race that weekend, or how he felt about Charlotte Motor Speedway or anything about his team and the usual competition-related questions. I only want to ask people things that I’m curious about. Of course what I really wanted to ask him about was his love life, but since this was my first time meeting him EVER I figured that wouldn’t be the way to go.

Plus, this is Tony Stewart. He’s the most intimidating person, at least to me, to interview. I’ve been at press conferences where he’s cut people down with like two words. I’ve seen people live that Southwest commercial where they ask “Wanna get away???” because they asked Tony something he felt wasn’t worthy of an answer.

interview: brian scott tops the rookie charts

Brian Scott (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)Brian Scott drives the No. 11 AccuDoc Solutions Toyota Camry for Braun Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The 22-year-old Idaho native currently sits 8th in points after last weekend’s crazy-as-usual Talladega race. He’s also leading in the hunt for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year award.

In talking to Brian I was struck by how self-aware and contained he was, just like all of the Nationwide drivers I’ve interviewed recently. They really know who they are and what they want to accomplish. I don’t want to be all cheesy but they’re really driven to succeed, and Brian Scott is no different.

Workin the phones: @bscottracing does a phone interview for The Fast and the Fabulous.. #NASCARAnd in case you were wondering what drivers look like when they’re chatting with me over the phone for these interviews Brian’s PR guy took this picture at right (click it to view full-size).

Enjoy! :)