All posts tagged Kyle Petty

28 Posts

oh yeah, about atlanta

It’s no secret that I don’t like Kyle Busch. While I respect his talent and I can appreciate his drive for winning, I still find him to be the most annoying and obnoxious driver on the Sprint Cup circuit to date. Even when he wins he can’t help but complain or take a jab at someone. I think it all stems from insecurity and immaturity but whatever, maybe he’ll grow out of that.

And now for some random fabulousness:

– I interviewed Washington Post sportswriter Liz Clarke a little while ago and I would love it if you’d read our conversation. I only point it out because I’m really proud of it and I think you could get something out of it. I’m just sayin’.

– If you’re new to my blog or are a regular reader please take a second to fill out my reader survey. It’s nothing fancy and I’m not selling the information I receive, so it’s all just for my knowledge. I’ll be your best friend, ok, not really but you know what I mean.

– My mom will be mad at me if I don’t mention the fact that on Sunday while we were watching the race we saw a commercial for Domino’s promoting some special NASCAR deal. We called our local Domino’s restaurant and the manager had no idea there was such a deal available. He’d never heard of it apparently and then my mother proceeded to ask him what kind of manager he was and then he hung up on her. Yep, that’s my mom. Anyway, we ended up getting pizza from Round Table, where, I might add the guy went out of his way to find a coupon for us to use since we didn’t have any. Good job picking up the slack Round Table!

– Do you read The Onion? Well you should because they’re hilarious and they write the funniest stuff. They decided to make fun of Carl Edwards and his backflip tradition. Ya gotta check this out… Carl Edwards Does Mournful ‘Did Not Finish’ Backflip (Onion Sports)

– If this doesn’t work I don’t know what will. In an attempt to secure a sponsor for the Yates Racing No. 28 car driven by Travis Kvapil they’re running a special “11 Million” paint scheme at Bristol this weekend. The “11 Million” stands for the average number of people that watch the race coverage on FOX each day. Of course it goes without saying, if I had the money I’d totally sponsor this team. Can’t you just imagine “The Fast and the Fabulous” Ford zooming around the race track? hehe. Maybe Travis and the guys at Yates are glad I don’t have the money. :)

The 2008 NASCAR TV season is already off to a great start with an average of more than 11 million people per race day watching the No. 28 Yates Racing Ford during FOX’s coverage. This three-race average doesn’t include the 33.5 million viewers that watched the Daytona 500. With TV ratings up, and the No. 28 team still looking for sponsorship, it only makes sense to highlight one of the many benefits of a primary sponsorship with Yates Racing and the No. 28 team by placing “11 Million” on the hood of the Ford Fusion. Driver Travis Kvapil thinks it’s a unique approach to attracting sponsorship and hopes that he can get his No. 28 “11 Million” Ford to the number one position this Sunday at Bristol.

“I think it’s pretty creative,” said Kvapil. “When you stop and think about it, that’s a lot of eyeballs watching you every weekend, and this is just a fraction of the coverage that we get each week. I can’t imagine what the number would be if you added up all the media coverage along with the practice, qualifying, pre-race and post-race shows. That’s huge.”

Sponsorship opportunities are available; please contact Kevin Thomas with Yates Racing at 704-706-2120.

– Speaking of Yates Racing, be on the lookout for my interview with Michelle Gilliland, wife of David Gilliland who drives the No. 38 Ford. I should be posting it in the next few days.

Photo Credit: Special to NASCAR

I’m posting this because I think Connie Montoya’s dress is super cute! That is all.

(Left to right) Felix Sabates, NASCAR CFO R. Todd Wilson, Chip Ganassi, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France, Connie Montoya, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kyle Petty and NASCAR Foundation Executive Director Sandy Marshall traveled to Colombia to raise awareness for the Montoyas Formula Smiles program and Petty’s Victory Junction Gang Camp. (Photo Credit: Special to NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR

Scott Speed is one colorful dude.

Guenther Steiner (R), the technical director for Red Bull Racing Team, talks with Red Bull Racer, Scott Speed (L) a few hours before his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Marc Serota / Getty Images for NASCAR

Martin Truex Jr. qualified third for Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Marc Serota / Getty Images for NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Marc Serota / Getty Images for NASCAR

After the track was dried, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series got in a final practice. In his quest for three consecutive Atlanta wins, Jimmie Johnson turned the eighth-fastest lap. (Photo Credit: Marc Serota / Getty Images for NASCAR)

liz clarke interview: one helluva ride

One Helluva Ride by Liz ClarkeA couple months ago I was given the opportunity to read Washington Post writer Liz Clarke’s new book about NASCAR entitled “One Helluva Ride: How NASCAR Swept the Nation.” I mentioned once before, when I was close to finishing the book, how emotional it made me feel. If you’re new to NASCAR or have been a fan for all of your life you should definitely pick up One Helluva Ride. It gives great insight, from one reporter’s unique perspective, on how NASCAR began and evolved over the years.

Luckily for me I was also given the opportunity to speak with Liz about the book and ask her some questions. I’m posting the results of our conversation here and in subsequent posts. Enjoy!

:: This is part one in a series of four posts (to see all of the posts on one page, click here) ::

Me: Why did you want to write the book and how did it come about?

Liz: I think that my experience was different than a lot of peoples in that I was approached by an editor, a book editor who was familiar with my work at the Post and asked if I had ever thought about writing a book.  She suggested one on gymnastics or tennis, which I was also covering at the time. She emailed and I said I’d love to write a book, I’ve never written a book but if I wrote one I really would feel more comfortable writing one about NASCAR. That’s the sport I know the best and would probably have the most to say and I thought she might go running, ya know fleeing and hanging up, I didn’t know how this would go over but she was open minded. She said “Well I’ll listen to that.” So that forced me to give some discipline to what was the book that I had in mind, I mean what is it that I wanted to say about NASCAR. Ya know and put that in written form, and do a proposal. Ya know one option would have been to focus on one driver’s story. Or to focus on a season in the life of the sport and I really wasn’t drawn to do either one.

I looked at this as the only book that I would ever write in my lifetime and I wanted sort of to say everything, just like say everything that I knew that I felt most strongly about and that there never was room for in a newspaper story or you edit your own self and you think “Well that’s not appropriate for a newspaper story, nobody really cares what I think, or nobody really cares about this funny conversation I had with so and so.” It’s invariably when you talk to people and they know you cover sports the questions they ask you are often the stories you never write, like “What is that person really like?” “What is Bill Elliott like?” or “What is Dale Earnhardt really like?” It’s odd how you never write those stories.

Also I was acutely aware of how rapidly the sport was growing and changing in obvious ways, the closing of several small tracks, the move west to new markets but also the change in the basic driver. The drivers were getting younger, they were from all over the country, they had a certain polish, ya know PR training was new and ya know some of this is easy to admire NASCAR for and really applaud their growth. Some of it made me sad. And so I just felt this overwhelming need to capture all of this before it kind of went away, before it was lost forever. And my, I hope this is not to vague, but my idea was to start the book in 1992 with the first night race at Charlotte. It was the first night race I recall seeing in person when it just knocked my socks off. And then I talked to some smart people and they said “No, no, no, you have to start where the sport starts. You have to start in the dirt.” And I thought “Oh god that’s going to bore people, I won’t get them through that to get to the part that I know.” But I think that was right.

I tried to cover a ton of history really in a compressed way and ya know certainly the book doesn’t stand up as this definitive history of NASCAR. I mean, I skip tons of champions. I ignore big chunks of the sport’s history but it was my version of the sport’s history in that it was to me what was important. To me what was important was the individualism of the people who ran moonshine and then raced stock cars, and the power of Bill France Jr., the unbelievable power that he had, and the warmth of Richard Petty. To me those are the three themes of the first thirty years of stock car racing. So I took some liberties in focusing on that.

Me: Which I think is really great because when people ask you “why do you like NASCAR?” It’s hard to say, because everyone always says “isn’t it just them driving around in circles?” And I’m like, “It’s so much more than that.” It really is the personalities of the drivers that make it so interesting and figuring who your favorite is based off of personality traits or how they interact with the other drivers.

Liz: Yes, I totally agree. And so, I can certainly understand why people change the channel as fast as they can when they see it. If you can’ tell, if you don’t know who’s in the cars, it is just kind of cars going around. It’s hard to explain to people that the people stand for something and that fans feel this connection.

Me: That’s what I liked about Richard Petty’s introduction in your book, which I thought was really cool that you got The King to write an introduction to your book. That’s awesome.

Liz: Oh, I was honored. I was so honored. So you liked that?

Me: Yea, and I liked how he said that if you’ve never been to a NASCAR race you should just go and then, ya know, you watch the cars, pick one out that you’re going to focus on for the race. And then as you keep watching you’ll learn more and then you’ll figure out ok, maybe I want this other driver, and you’ll figure out which one you like and then it can grow into something more. You have to kind of just pick one and go with it. Which is really true, that’s what I did. I started out with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and then I found out about all of these other drivers. I was like “Hey, Carl Edwards is really cool,” and I like the way he handles himself. You broaden your horizons as you keep watching. So, speaking of personalities, do you think that there is less personality in the drivers or different characters? Or do you think it’s about the same?

Liz: Based on what we can see as viewers, whether you’re watching on TV or listening on the scanners whatever, to me there’s definitely less personality. I’m not convinced the drivers themselves are less interesting, but there latitude for expressing themselves is so narrow now, they’re so scrutinized, ya know primarily by their sponsors who are paying the bills. They have to be the corporate pitchman all the time. Ya know, NASCAR probably gets and probably deserves some criticism for muzzling drivers’ personalities, with being very quick to fine and penalize for expressions. I mean, the one that just rankled me to death was when Dale Jr. was so excited after the win at Talladega. Ya know the “it don’t mean shit because my daddy won here ten times” or something. And ya know that use of “shit” wasn’t offensive. The vernacular [was used as a] huge compliment to his dad.

Me: Yea, that got me too. It was like, the moment he said it, it didn’t even phase me, you’re just so happy for him you’re not thinking about what he’s saying. Not the word he used at that particular moment.

Liz: Exactly. Yea, because the whole spirit was: I’m nothing compared to my dad. I mean what a great thing to say. He is something, he is emerging. But it was just a great tribute and a great moment and it was so dour and lame of NASCAR to react to that. I just wish the drivers words and behaviors after winning were not so scripted. I mean I understand corporate money makes the sport go and that these people are in the sport not only because their logo is seen but because their company logo is said by the driver. But I would find any driver who wins a race and gets out of the car and mentions his sponsor before he expresses one authentic emotion. I mean lets have the emotion and then, ya now, fulfill your contract. It’s a long way of saying I don’t think the drivers are boring personalities and you can’t find an interesting guy in the garage with an interesting opinion. I just think they’re almost in a straight jacket about how they behave, whether it’s all the, what are those Gillette drivers? What are they called? (Me: The Young Guns) Yea, Whether it’s all the Young Guns have to shave, ya know. Certainly decorum is called for but ya know and also the whole thing about being fearful of criticizing NASCAR or even questioning NASCAR. I was elated when Dale Jr. said on Sunday this track wasn’t ready to race; it was not a good move. Now that’s perceived as criticizing NASCAR. To me that’s a totally legitimate comment by a guy who was in the car and just got wiped out. I can’t believe more drivers didn’t say the same thing. I was thrilled that Denny Hamlin said it. To me it just bothered me to death that the broadcasters were not already discussing this on TV. Ya know, is this a good decision? You can talk about issues in the sport without slamming NASCAR.

Ya know but people, there’s this culture of you can’t question the Car of Tomorrow, you can’t question any, the length of the races, you can’t question the timing of the starts, ya know, whatever. The sport would be better, I mean Kyle Petty can do it, he can do it.

Me: Do you think there’s a fear amongst the drivers of retaliation from NASCAR? Is there a real, valid fear that if I say something they’re going to dock me points?

Liz: I think that that specter certainly was very palpable when I started covering this sport 15 years ago, 10 years ago. That was a real fear because there was so much more grey area in the application of the rule book. Getting through inspection was a real black box, I mean no one really knew quite what it took. And now I mean under Robin Pemberton and Gary Nelson before him, NASCAR has gotten quite specific and quite literal about what it takes to get through inspection, so there’s not that murkiness. It’s more above board; it’s more on the up and up. But that said, there’s still this vestige I think in the culture of, ya know, this is one man’s sport and he makes the rules and we can play by his rules or leave. That’s the way Bill France built it. It’s not so much the way they run it now but it has, that effect is still in the air.

don’t stand so close to me (unless you’re clint bowyer)

So I have this new vow that whenever I get media credentials I’m going to make the most of them. I’m going to do everything and access everything that my credentials will allow, at least, all of the stuff that I know about. There were three symbols whose meaning I never got around to figuring out. So anyway, back to making the most of things. I knew I wanted to get to the drivers introduction stage but it was way out on the start/finish line and not on pit road like it had been at California. So I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to be out there. Plus I didn’t see any of the media people that I recognized out there, but as I like to say “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” So I went out there and one of the security people let me through. 

Before the start of driver introductions there were a bunch of small introductory speeches by various big wigs, the Mayor of Las Vegas Oscar Goodman, SMI Chairman of the Board Bruton Smith, etc. And then the Blue Man Group put on a little show. They were really cool to see in person, even if I only saw the right side of the stage. I thought it was fun having them perform. Musical/theatrical shows are such a Vegas thing and it’s only fitting to have one before the start of the race, plus it’s like you get a little extra for all the money you shelled out for the tickets.

While the blue dudes were performing Clint Bowyer walked out on to the grass with a bunch of guys I’m assuming were his friends. He stopped to check out the show like right next to where I was standing. It was the most awkward thing. Should I stand there and look at the show like “yea I think the show is really cool too Clint” or should I stare at him and snap as many photos as possible right in his face? Well I chose a sort of combination of the two. I took photos of him, and stared at him and also tried to move out of his way so that he could get a better look at the show, all the while trying to be nonchalant about the whole thing.

And so eventually all of the drivers streamed out onto the grass behind the stage. Dale Earnhardt Jr. sped by in his requisite black hoodie and into the tented backstage area. Meanwhile a woman standing next to me with a very large chest area had Robby Gordon sign her boobs, I mean, shirt.

Robby Gordon gives his autograph (Photo Credit: The Fast and the Fabulous/Valli Hilaire)

Robby Gordon signs a fan’s boob shirt at the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas.

Clint Bowyer watches The Blue Man Group perform before the start of the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas (Photo Credit: The Fast and the Fabulous/Valli Hilaire)

Clint Bowyer watches The Blue Man Group perform before the start of the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas.

Clint Bowyer watches The Blue Man Group perform before the start of the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas (Photo Credit: The Fast and the Fabulous/Valli Hilaire)

Clint Bowyer watches The Blue Man Group perform before the start of the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas.

The Blue Man Group perform before the start of the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas (Photo Credit: The Fast and the Fabulous/Valli Hilaire)

The Blue Man Group perform before the start of the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas.

J.J. Yeley and his adorable daughter Faith exit the stage during driver introductions at the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas (Photo Credit: The Fast and the Fabulous/Valli Hilaire)

J.J. Yeley and his adorable daughter Faith exit the stage during driver introductions at the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas.

A group of drivers hang out before they are introduced at the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas

Kyle Petty, Ken Schrader, Dario Franchitti, Juan Pablo Montoya and David Reutimann (sitting) hang out before they’re introduced at driver introductions.

’cause 1 out of 36 makes or breaks you

I think it’s weird to forecast the season or a drivers performance abilities based off of ONE race. I think that at least ten races have to pass before I can tell you if someone is having a sucky or great season. I know people have to write about something other than Tony Stewart’s hair but c’mon.

So I’ve been checking the weather down in Southern California and it looks like there’s a chance of showers on Sunday in Fontana. I’ve never been to a race with a rain delay. So if the rain does come down during the race that could be interesting. I’ll have to figure out where Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s coach is located. Just kidding. Sorta. No, I’m kidding. Maybe.

In other news…

– California Speedway is no longer California Speedway. It was announced this week that it is now to be called The Auto Club Speedway of Southern California. California Speedway was a lot easier to say, but whatever.

– MomLogic has posted an interview with Pattie Petty, wife of Kyle Petty and mother to Adam Petty, a 4th generation NASCAR driver, who was tragically killed in an on-track accident in 2000. How Pattie Petty Honors Her Son’s Memory

Kurt Busch will be signing autographs at The Palms Hotel & Casino in Vegas next Friday the 29th at 7:30pm, in the Palms Food Court. The Food Court??

– IndyCar driver Danica Patrick made a trip to The Ellen Degeneres Show this week. Her sit down with Ellen airs today. Check your local listings for times.

– It was announced today that the IndyCar Series and Champ Car World Series have reached an agreement and are merging in time for the 2008 racing season. Michael Andretti says this:

“This is a huge day for the IndyCar Series and for our sport as a whole, for sure. Over the years, whether I was in the role of driver, team owner or promoter, I have always wanted a unified sport. That has been my only goal throughout this entire process and I applaud everyone who played a role in making this happen. So many people have worked tirelessly, both publicly and behind the scenes, to get this done. Everyone can now focus on taking the IndyCar Series to new heights for the good of our sport and everyone involved in it.”

nascar on abc bites the big one. the end.

Anger is such a great motivator, so good that it has spurred me on to write this post this morning instead of waiting until later in the day. So Fast and Fabulous fans, you have a certain day job to thank for this wonderful Monday morning race rehash.

I was happy to see Carl Edwards win yesterday, but not nearly as happy as I would have been had Dale Earnhardt Jr. been able to take it away from him. Oh well, there’s always next week. It still amazes me that Carl can do those flips so well, it’s not like he’s a 5 foot gymnast. He’s like 6 feet tallk and built. *sigh* Uhm… where was I? Oh yea, so Carl won and that was cool, yet another not-exactly-expected win for this year’s Chase.

Please tell me I’m not the only won that’s tired of the ABC/ESPN race coverage? Seriously? Please! I don’t know what it is, but they just don’t compare to the Fox crew. The commenting is just so herky-jerky and lame. I’m not digging it all. I’m sure Rusty Wallace is a very nice person, but I can’t take it. I just can’t take it! Oh look — I’m not the only one! Oh and what was up with that montage of Dale Jr. fans talking about how they’d follow him wherever? I think we can file that in the “duh” file, ya know that’s why they’re his fans, because they LIKE HIM! gah!

Last night when I was trying to go to bed I was thinking about reasons why it may be hard for people to understand the appeal of NASCAR. I think it has something to do with the fact that in other sports like football, baseball or basketball it’s easy to see the emotions on the players’ faces and in their physical demeanor. In NASCAR we can’t see anything, the drivers are enclosed in their cars so it’s not until they get out of their car at the end do we really know how much it all meant to them or everything they were trying to do to win. You can hear it over the radio but still, when you’re watching on TV you don’t always get that.

One of the biggest reasons why I love football is of course for the physicality of it all. I love seeing a guy get knocked or catch a sweet touchdown pass. In NASCAR it’s just isn’t as obvious, but of course that doesn’t mean that it’s not there, you just have to look for it. And that’s what I’m always looking for. I want to see the emotion, the importance of it all. Before the race the drivers are always the saying the same thing but it’s not until they’re in the heat of the battle that the claws come out. Which is why I was excited to see Kyle Petty (one of the coolest “good guys” if there ever was one) get pissed and try to smack Denny Hamlin around after Denny wrecked him. That was good to see. I need to know that you still want it, that you really do care about all this, and that even though your team is kinda lame you’re still striving to stay in this game. I know that that’s a given that they race because they love it and want to be the best but I like to be reminded.

between the lines

This is completely and truly a blog about motor sports but I feel like I’m not being true to myself when I don’t write about everything that’s exciting me at the moment.

So that being said, I must tell you about this amazingly talented singer, Sara Bareilles (pronounced bar-rell-is). She is awesome! I bought her CD “Little Voice” on Friday and I am so deeply hooked. She’s a little bit like Fiona Apple, Charlotte Martin or even Alicia Keys, but she’s different from them. She’s not a copycat she’s totally unique and you should check out her songs. I’ve had her CD on this entire weekend, I even drove around on Sunday just because I wanted to belt out the lyrics (I do all my best singing in the car). I’m a big fan of great lyrics in addition to great melodies, and this CD has it all. I like to think that music comes into your life when it does for a reason, and this music has been super inspirational to me. Not in a spiritual-ohm kind of way, but in a girls-kick-butt-and-never-doubt-yourself kind of way.

Ok… so now on to the race at Chicagoland. I’ll be completely honest with you, Tony Stewart was not on my short list of people I’d like to see win this race. After seeing that very nice pre-race piece on Clint Bowyer I would have liked it very much to see him in victory lane, but again it was not to be. At least he moved up in the points standings. Speaking of the pre-race interview with Clint, I was so glad they did something like that for once this year. It seems like it’s been forever since they’ve interviewed a current driver away from the track and talked a bit about his life before he was in the Cup series.

And despite his lack of power steering (and because of Jamie McMurrays bad luck) Dale Earnhardt Jr. was able to keep his 12th place spot in the points standings.

I know that Thanksgiving isn’t until November but I must say that I am very thankful for the fact that TNT’s coverage of NASCAR is now over! Woo-hoo! I love Larry Mac, Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach but I can’t take more of Marc Fein and Bill Weber. Weber’s attempts at sarcasm never seem to work out quite right. ESPN/ABC will be with us for the rest of the season and I feel like I can handle Brent Musberger — even though it still feels slightly weird for him to be calling NASCAR and not Basketball.

My wish for 2008 is that NASCAR will stick to one channel for the entire season. Imagine that? Not having to double check the schedule to figure out what channel the race will be on this weekend. I’d pick Fox only because that’s where Darrell Waltrip is and I just love that man, he makes the races that much more fun to watch. His passion is infectious and I don’t think NASCAR could ever dream up a better ambassador (if you will) for the sport.

Chicagoland eye candy to follow:


The kid cannot take a bad photo to save his life.

Kasey Kahne takes a break during practice at Chicagoland Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)


Was that booing I heard when Hanson got ready to sing the national anthem? That was totally unjustified. I’m not ashamed to say that I own some of their CDs.

(L-R) American pop rock band The Hanson Brothers, Zachary, Jordan (aka Taylor) and Isaac Hanson, sing the National Anthem before the start of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 15, 2007 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)


Dale Earnhardt Jr. (left) and Martin Truex Jr. following qualifying at Chicagoland Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)


Casey Mears, driver of the #25 National Guard/GMAC Chevrolet, looks on after he qualified first for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 13, 2007 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Oh and don’t forget to take my survey!! I’m not too proud to beg.

petty pathetic?

Is it just me or does anyone else wonder why Kyle Petty bothers racing anymore? He’s never in contention to win any of the races in the Cup series. I’m probably committing some sin by just talking about this but when do you call it quits? I can’t remember the last time I saw him in the top ten at the beginning, middle or end of a race.

This year Petty announced that he wasn’t going to run in 5 Cup races in order to do some TV stuff. I say, Kyle, take all the time you need, do more TV work. Because if he’s out of it then maybe Michael Waltrip or those guys on the Red Bull team can qualify for more races, ya know, people that might be able to finish in the top ten.

in the groove

Recently I read a book, “In the Groove” by Pamela Britton, (that’s her on the left) a romance novel set within the racing world. It’s the first in the new NASCAR/Harlequin series and I loved it! It’s also the first romance novel that I’ve ever read and the only reason I picked it up in the first place was because it had to do with NASCAR.

When I tell people at work about the book they look at me like I’m crazy, but that’s really nothing new. :) If you’re a true blue fan of anything you’re going to want to get your hands on anything relating to your favorite subject.

I’m a sucker for romance and I loved the plot of the book, which is about an average-looking woman who, knowing nothing about racing, falls for a charming and gorgeous big-name driver. Of course it’s no easy task for the two of them to get together, which is great because I found myself devouring each chapter wanting to know what would happen next, will they or won’t they, etc.

So I thought it would be fun to conduct an email interview with Pamela Britton to talk about the book and NASCAR in general. Periodically I’ll be posting our exchanges, so keep checking back for more.

ME: �In the Groove� is your second racing-related romance novel but the first in the new Harlequin/NASCAR series. Why did you want to write about romance in the �fast lane�? Was there any one thing that inspired you?

PAMELA: In the mid-nineties I spent a lot of time inside the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup garages (then it was Winston Cup). My husband at the time manufactured parts for the teams. So when I started writing right about the same time, it seemed a natural choice. The popularity of the sport was obvious and so I figured people might want to read about the sport as well as watch it on T.V.. Little did I know it would take me nearly six years to sell the story.

Everyone on the circuit has inspired me. They’re all so nice and “real”. All I have to do is look around me when I’m in the garage and I’ll see people like the Petty’s who started VICTORY JUNCTION GANG in honor of the deceased son. They’re helping critically ill children. How can you not be touched by that?