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The Racing Writer's Podcast
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The Racing Writer's Podcast

Author: Kelly Crandall

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Racer Magazine's Kelly Crandall brings stories and interviews from driver's and personalities in the NASCAR garage.
169 Episodes
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Ep. 169 | Jade Buford

Ep. 169 | Jade Buford

2021-05-1039:55

NASCAR newcomer Jade Buford is off to a solid start to the 2021 season with a brand-new race team, Big Machine Racing. Buford discusses how things have gone; the expectations coming into the season; how long it takes him to get comfortable each weekend without practice and qualifying; the toughest thing about competing in the Xfinity Series; the depth of competition and aggressive from sports cars to NASCAR; some insight into the Big Machine Racing team; what Buford’s first experience was like on a NASCAR oval; what his preparation is any given week to prepare for tracks he’s never competed on; leaving sports cars for stock cars; the skills needed to be a successful road course driver; growing up in Nashville, TN and how he got into racing; starting a driving career at 18 and going straight to sports cars; Buford shares some of his hobbies and things he enjoys away from the racetrack – like hanging off rocks; participating in American Ninja Warrior three times and how the show works; what will be a successful season for his team; if he wants to stay in NASCAR long term. Music created by Tony Monge.
Ep. 168 | Matt Yocum

Ep. 168 | Matt Yocum

2021-05-0358:441

Matt Yocum, formerly of Fox Sports and now SRX, is looking back at the end of his time covering NASCAR for Fox and what's ahead with SRX. Yocum discusses being out of the routine of covering NASCAR; joining DirtVision last month for the World of Outlaws at Bristol; his love of all things motorsports; memories of Dale Earnhardt and the significance of his Twitter cover photo; developing a relationship with Tony Stewart; the stories behind Stewart getting his back waxed on live radio; cultivating relationships with drivers over the years; the appeal of joining SRX as a pit reporter and being able to tell stories; the preparation going into a new series; why fans should tune into SRX this summer. Music created by Tony Monge.
Chris Medland, my colleague at RACER.com who covers Formula 1, joins the podcast to discuss all the latest news and notes from overseas. Medland explains how F1 in Miami came to be; what has happened to Ferrari’s performance over the last year; how much teams try to get away with in F1; where the Haas team stands and their plans moving forward; a discussion on Nikita Mazapin; how the coronavirus pandemic has affected F1, its teams, and media; Mercedes versus Red Bull and Hamilton versus Verstappen; the accuracy of the Netflix series; teams wanting to participate; how the series has translated to a new audience; a little bit on who Chris is and how he got to where he is in racing. Music created by Tony Monge.
James Davison was confronted with the decision of returning to the Indianapolis 500 or running more NASCAR races, and he says his heart is in NASCAR. Davison explains what has hooked him; comparing the feeling of driving an IndyCar versus a stock car; his reaction to the first time being behind the wheel of a stock car; how much his IndyCar prospects played into his decision; how Davison came to NASCAR in the first place; his racing background and how he came to the United States; why he went the open-wheel route over NASCAR at the start of his career; the influence of his parents on his racing career, and how they feel about him in NASCAR; the funding difference between IndyCar and NASCAR; what Davison is enjoying learning about NASCAR on and off the track; how he knows he’s put in a good day or learned something; tracks he feels most comfortable already and the ones he’s looking forward to; what Davison’s long-term NASCAR plans are. Music created by Tony Monge.
Michelle Martinelli from USA/For The Win drops by to share details on “The Sneak” podcast that digs into the disappearance of Mario Rossi. How did this story come on their radar? Who was Mario Rossi? What went into the original reporting; how much convincing the Rossi family needed to get involved; the many theories surrounding his disappearance; when the Rossi family became suspicious; drug smuggling comes to NASCAR angle; if there is a conclusion to their investigation; recognizable names who contributed to the project; information on how to listen; who Michelle is and how to follow her and her work. Music created by Tony Monge.
The voice of the World of Outlaws, Johnny Gibson, is always on the road going from town to town, and he explains why it’s easier just to have a motorhome. Gibson also shares what he does to stay busy between races; his propensity to take notes; how being prepared and in the right place led to his break with WoO; why his native Pennsylvania is a hotbed of dirt racing; what got him on sprint car racing; when Gibson embraced racing as a career and what he initially wanted to do in life; how much thought he put into his announcer’s voice; memories of his first night on the job; thinking about 25 years on the job and over 2,000 races attended; taking care of his voice through the season; putting dirt back on Bristol; keeping track of drivers through numbers or paint schemes; inside the broadcast booth of what he’s following and his tools, and the art of delivering quick play-by-play; the birth of his famous saying during the parade lap and thoughts on others paying homage with their versions; other series that have tried to hire him and his lack of interest in other forms of racing; trends early in the WoO season and discussions on David Gravel and Kasey Kahne; drivers who are fun to watch in WoO and the access difference from NASCAR; upcoming events Gibson is looking forward to. Music created by Tony Monge.
Ep. 163 | Mike Joy

Ep. 163 | Mike Joy

2021-04-0559:571

Mike Joy of NASCAR on Fox goes from the broadcast booth to interviewee this week. Joy joins the show to touch on a variety of topics like keeping track of things in the booth; knowing the moments when his words and calls have to be right; how he sets up calling the finishes of races; lessons from Barney Hall, Ken Squier, and Ned Jarrett; how the relationship between the garage and the booth has changed over the years; Joy’s approach to getting close to people in the garage; where his love of Formula 1 and sports cars came from; a big car guy, what is sitting in his driveway/garage; if Joy approached calling iRacing differently and more lighthearted; thoughts on writing a book; if there are sports Joy hasn’t called; moments or drivers that he’s grateful to have covered or watched. Music created by Tony Monge.
Samantha Busch can add published author to her resume as her book “Fighting Infertility” is a day away from being released (March 30). In our conversation, Busch explains why writing a book was the next step of continuing to share the struggles of her and Kyle Busch to conceive a second child; what details are shared about how it has affected their marriage; the reaction to Kyle Busch mentioning Samantha and their issues in his 2019 championship speech; the emotional process of writing a book and one of this nature; the journey of building herself back up through the heartbreak; the importance of sharing practical advice in the book for other women; how Brexton feels about a sibling; how the latest transfer went; the need to be busy with projects; the latest on the Bundle of Joy Fund and getting joy from that; the dynamic of working on projects with Kyle; what Samantha gets out of an active website for different topics; going to racetracks with Brexton and how his racing is progressing; what Kyle has learned through the IVF process and being there for Samantha; who and why people should read the book. Music created by Tony Monge. Wear the moment with BreakingT and connect to the players and teams you love by commemorating the best moments with real-time apparel. To check out their racing collection, visit www.breakingt.com/Kelly.
Tad Geschickter and Grant Dexter are here for a conversation about the business side of racing and fan engagement during a pandemic. First, Geschickter talks about the start of the season for his JTG Daugherty Racing team; the parts freeze and Next Gen; getting into the sport first as a part of Proctor & Gamble advertising; the bootstrapped early days of starting his team versus where the organization is now; looking at ownership differently than others because of his marketing/advertising background; how the pandemic forced a change in fan and sponsor content; the immediate ways JTG adapted to the pandemic; what their partnership with Fanaply means for fans; how Fanaply works for the fans and making it unique and exclusive; if the partnership is working; if things have leveled out a year into the pandemic; how he feels about the future. Dexter walks us through what Fanaply is and how the idea of digital collectibles came about just two years ago; how they quickly attracted big name artists like One Direction and Lizzo; connecting with JTG and bringing NASCAR into the fold; what he is seeing from the partnership; the perks and rewards fans get by collecting the badges; why fans should collect and how they go about doing so; why more NASCAR teams haven’t started doing this and the outlook to add more. Music created by Tony Monge. Wear the moment with BreakingT and connect to the players and teams you love by commemorating the best moments with real-time apparel. To check out their racing collection, visit www.breakingt.com/Kelly.
A brief chat with Aric Almirola on what he’s doing to create content and show behind the scenes of his life with his YouTube channel; if NASCAR could benefit from more documentary type content; now 10 years into a full Cup career, how Almirola has had to evolve and change over the years; if he likes how the racing has changed over the years; if the dynamic of the playoffs has changed with four different winners in the first four weeks; racing go-karts with son Alex. Music created by Tony Monge.
It was a rough two weeks in Daytona for Hattori Racing but crew chief Scott Zipadelli was optimistic going in Las Vegas thing would turn around. Before earning a third-place finish over the weekend, Zipadelli joined the show to discuss his program; how his relationship with Austin Hill has developed over the years; what kind of a personality Zipadelli wants a driver to have; if the way things are now in the sport is really helping teams; the beginnings of Zipadelli’s career in racing; if the ache to be a driver ever goes away; working with brother Greg at Joe Gibbs Racing; wanting to be challenged by taking other opportunities through the years; learning new jobs and the politics of the sport; battling lack of motivation and being burnt out; Zipadelli’s involvement in the day-to-day workings of the team; the dangers of Twitter; if being a Cup Series crew chief is something he has to do; if Hattori is still an underdog; where to start preparing for new races this season. Music created by Tony Monge. Wear the moment with BreakingT and connect to the players and teams you love by commemorating the best moments with real-time apparel. To check out their racing collection, visit www.breakingt.com/Kelly.
Ep. 158 | Ben Rhodes

Ep. 158 | Ben Rhodes

2021-03-0144:57

Ben Rhodes is undefeated in 2021 in Truck Series competition, so does that mean the competition should look at his team differently this year? Rhodes joins the show to discuss; plus what victory lane has been like in the COVID era; if not having multiple wins in a season ever weighed on him or brought worries about job security; why Rhodes thinks the lows of racing are harder than other sports; the mental work he’s done over the years; how his two wins changes his confidence to conquer other tracks; why he called Daytona his biggest win; if Rhodes has become more emotional over the radio in recent seasons; if he think he’s developed an unfair reputation; why he doesn’t mind not being in the Charlotte area; the challenge of a series that always has new faces; making a change in spotter’s this season and how Rhodes landed with T.J. Bell; with so many years in the sport now, where did Rhodes think he’d be at this point; not ruining the stability he has at ThorSport; what he does away from racing being in Louisville; why he changed his training routine; previewing Vegas, Atlanta, and Bristol; trying to put a number on the wins he could earn by season’s end. Music created by Tony Monge.
Ep. 157 | Freddie Kraft

Ep. 157 | Freddie Kraft

2021-02-2257:291

Freddie Kraft, spotter for Bubba Wallace, joined the show right before the season began to share what his offseason was like and what his spotting plans are for the 2021 season. Kraft explains his relationship with Wallace; how drivers go through vetting spotters; a season he dreaded with Greg Biffle; knowing the drivers he won’t work with; defending the driver you’re working with; being both cheerleader and critic for your driver; the overlooked importance of a spotter; some details on where Kraft came from and how he got here; if there was doubt about staying paired with Bubba this season; what he sees being built at 23XI; the adjustment in his spotting with the expectation of running up front more this season; fans wanting him to be a full-time co-host on Door Bumper Clear; knowing what is and isn’t acceptable on DBC; if it has affected his relationship with NASCAR officials; how much of the overall race Kraft sees and reviewing them for the podcast; the maddest Kraft has been on the roof; needing time to decompress after races; his view on helping other spotters; preparing to spot at new venues this season and what he’s excited for; thoughts on grassroots racing; what he is looking forward to in ’21; one last spotter story. Music created by Tony Monge. Wear the moment with BreakingT and connect to the players and teams you love by commemorating the best moments with real-time apparel. To check out their racing collection, visit www.breakingt.com/Kelly.
Ep. 156 | Rick Houston

Ep. 156 | Rick Houston

2021-02-1543:19

Rick Houston (of the Scene Vault Podcast) has put together a 10-episode podcast documentary set to drop on the 20th anniversary of the 2001 Daytona 500. Houston walks us through putting together something on the 2000 and 2001 seasons and the rash of driver deaths; the people connected to those drivers that he was able to interview for the project; what it was like covering the sport during such dark times and why Houston says it changed the course of his career; discussing the misconception that safety wasn’t on NASCAR’s mind until Earnhardt died; trying to explain what was going on at New Hampshire to take the lives of Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin; how the media was reacting and reporting during this time period; sharing who Tony Roper and Blaise Alexander were; how therapeutic the project was for Houston to put together; what his takeaway is on the impact of safety in racing. Music created by Tony Monge. Wear the moment with BreakingT and connect to the players and teams you love by commemorating the best moments with real-time apparel. To check out their racing collection, visit www.breakingt.com/Kelly.
Kip Childress wears two hats for NASCAR as both the assistant Cup Series director and the pace car driver. In today’s episode, we dig into both roles by discussing a variety of topics. First, what his offseason to-do lists consist of; breaking down his responsibilities in the garage; being a sounding board and go-to person for teams; the new way of bringing teams into the garage; the unique ways Childress had hauler drivers park in the garage with COVID, and what it’s like parking them every week; if officials do weekend reviews after each race; the lineage of the Childress family to make him a third-generation official; the job responsibility of being the pace car driver for the Cup Series; the importance of putting the car in cruise control; how the procedure has changed because of honorary pace car drivers and some funny celebrity stories; why pace car drivers also wear protective equipment; the craziest or most unexpected thing he’s seen in the pace car; drivers who like to have fun with the pace car; what his view is when parked under green; how much of the race he sees; what it’s like to lead the field at the Daytona 500. Music created by Tony Monge. The Rose Villa Southern Table and Bar is located at 43 W Granada Blvd in Ormond Beach, Florida. Visit www.rosevillaresturant.com to explore their menu, hours, and check out the gallery to see photos of their food and dining space. Wear the moment with BreakingT and connect to the players and teams you love by commemorating the best moments with real-time apparel. To check out their racing collection, visit www.breakingt.com/Kelly.
Sheldon Creed is back on the podcast, but now he does so as the reigning Camping World Truck Series champion. Creed shares what his offseason has been like and getting into dirt racing; if his championship accomplishment has set in and why he doesn’t want to pay attention to the press clippings; keeping the team together; growing into the NASCAR environment, and maturing on and off the track along the way; fitting into the garage; what changed in his race craft from 2019 to ’20 to change the results; knowing how to watch race film properly; trying to understand why he was so aggressive in his rookie season; if Creed knows where the line is and how to keep from getting into a bad spot; the variables of dirty air and restarts; having a better understanding of the trucks after two full seasons; the type of feedback he’s comfortable giving; trying to learn from other drivers; preparation for 2021; what the team did well in ’20 but need to do better in ’21; becoming more comfortable and confident in his personality; how quickly success happened; thoughts and expectations for a new season. Music created by Tony Monge. Wear the moment with BreakingT and connect to the players and teams you love by commemorating the best moments with real-time apparel. To check out their racing collection, visit www.breakingt.com/Kelly.
Cliff Daniels and his group haven’t changed anything regarding a seat in their race cars in over 15 years, but with Jimmie Johnson retired and Kyle Larson entering it has made for an even busier offseason. Daniels, the crew chief of the No. 5 team, chats about how things are going getting prepared for Daytona; how he’s been adjusting to the role with so much change the last few seasons; memories of coming from a racing family and being a former driver; having to channel his competitive fire in a different way as a crew chief and leading a team; if he had to get comfortable with the idea of working with Larson; if Daniels has been able to do any team-building exercises given the pandemic; if he will treat Larson different than Johnson; if Larson has told Daniels what he can to lead him; what he will require or want to see from Larson this season. Music created by Tony Monge. Wear the moment with BreakingT and connect to the players and teams you love by commemorating the best moments with real-time apparel. To check out their racing collection, visit www.breakingt.com/Kelly.
New NASCAR driver Santino Ferrucci is excited and ready for the challenge for stock cars. This week, Ferrucci explains how a deal to run Xfinity Series races with Sam Hunt Racing came to be; people he talked to about making a transition to NASCAR; anticipating habits Ferrucci will have to break in stock cars; the first impression from a late model test; if stock cars with fenders and bumpers will suit his style; what the feedback and reaction have been to the move; who Ferrucci sees himself leaning on for help; how he can prepare for his first race with no testing allowed; tracks he’s looking forward to competing on; if he’s a patient person and will keep his expectations in check throughout the year; how and why he went the open-wheel route when his career started; already working through differences in racing lingo; if Ferrucci is content with leaving IndyCar and what he did there; if NASCAR is the long-term goal now and if running in the Cup Series is on the radar; what he wants to say to fans and those curious about watching his transition. Music created by Tony Monge. Wear the moment with BreakingT and connect to the players and teams you love by commemorating the best moments with real-time apparel. To check out their racing collection, visit www.breakingt.com/Kelly.
Jacob Seelman of Speed Sport is here to help provide a helpful and fun preview of this week’s Chili Bowl Nationals and how it’s going to look in a pandemic. Seelman explains the draw of the prestigious midget car event; how many will make the feature event; how the week of practice and prelims work; his racing connection and background, and how long he’s covered the event; notable names to keep an eye on during the week and some who may have pavement aspirations; making note of Keith Kunz Motorsports, their connection to Toyota and its driver pipeline; an explanation on the age requirement for the Chili Bowl; breaking down the big list of NASCAR drivers participating in the event; storylines around this year’s running; why you can’t handicap the event but throwing out a prediction on the winner. Music created by Tony Monge. Wear the moment with BreakingT and connect to the players and teams you love by commemorating the best moments with real-time apparel. To check out their racing collection, visit www.breakingt.com/Kelly.
Ep. 150 | Greg Zipadelli

Ep. 150 | Greg Zipadelli

2021-01-0427:491

Greg Zipadelli, the competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing, brings us inside the race shop to share how even in the offseason the team is trying to stay safe while preparing for a new race season. Zipadelli also explains how the coronavirus pandemic has changed his job; what it has been like to hold virtual competition meetings with the teams; the unseen and unheard challenges races teams have dealt with during the pandemic; keeping contingency plans in place for 2021; if he thinks long-term the sport and teams will be OK; how Zipadelli grades the 2020 season for SHR; how the gap can be closed between the 4 and the other three teams; his early outlook for this season; if the disappointing end of Harvick’s ’20 season will motivate the 4 team; thoughts on how Riley Herbst can slot into a single-car Xfinity Series team; handling the mesh of personalities at SHR; the biggest thing on the offseason agenda. Music created by Tony Monge. Wear the moment with BreakingT and connect to the players and teams you love by commemorating the best moments with real-time apparel. To check out their racing collection, visit www.breakingt.com/Kelly.
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Comments (3)

Steven Paolo (Paolito)

great video and speaking of a huge Suárez fan

Aug 12th
Reply (1)

Jeff Makin

enjoyed all the shows so far keep it up Kelly!

Oct 25th
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