Who needs an offseason?

 

NASCAR is over for the year, and we’re full speed ahead finishing season 3 of Top Gear on History which should debut early 2013.  I can’t wait for you guys to see all the new shows we’ve been working so hard on.  For this season, we left the country, went too far out into the countryside, and have gotten to drive some insane cars.

People ask me a lot if I know how lucky I am to have my dream job(s), getting to travel with NASCAR for SPEED and do Top Gear for the History Channel, and I want you to know the answer is a resounding “YES!”  I absolutely love what I do, and I love the people I get to do these things with.  There are so many great people behind the scenes at both places that really put their heart and souls into what we create.

It still makes me laugh that the reason I got a call to meet with the executive producer of Top Gear happened because a race fan, whom I’ve never met, loaded something that I did on SPEED, on to YouTube (illegally mind you) and because they did that, this British producer laughed and thought I’d be interesting to talk to.  That one person helped change my life forever and get to live out my dreams and I get to take you guys all along for the ride…so yeah, I am thankful every day that I get this chance, and I pray every day that I can take this opportunity and do all the things that God wants me to do with them.

This year was a great year, but a long one. I was lucky enough to get to race in the Toyota Pro Celebrity Race, which is something I dreamed of growing up, and I have gotten to drive some cars that people only dream of.  And so now, with the holidays approaching, I’m going to get the chance to remind my beautiful wife why she puts up with this crazy schedule, and hold my beautiful daughters closer than they even know possible.

And yeah, if there’s any time left over after that, then I’m going to get to work on some car projects.  I think the one I’m most excited about is the 1949 Chevy Step Van  that I picked up a few weeks ago.  It’s like a UPS van from the 40′s, but I tried to buy one just like it in college and it sold before I could get to it, so I’m going to try and make it a really cool cruiser.  I’d love to finish it in time for the Hot Rod Power Tour that Hot Rod Magazine does every year, so keep your fingers crossed for me on that.

I do have some big news that I’ll get to tell you about in a few weeks…I’m joining forces with some good friends to be a part of a really cool company that I hope we get to grow in some amazing ways.  More to come on that soon!

For now, I gotta run because I have a plane to catch…thanks for reading, and more importantly, thanks for the support.  A lot of people probably thought the nerdy, thick glasses kid from Alabama couldn’t make it this far, and I feel like I’m just getting started….so thanks for helping me get to this point.  Happy Holidays!

Blog #2 – Toyota Pro Celebrity Race

Here we go with Blog #2 !

 I’m still not totally sure what to write about every week, but I’m going to figure that out. I’m sitting at the kitchen table with my wife, who is cutting out Easter Eggs out of construction party for our daughter’s class tomorrow. I feel like the luckiest man in the world…seriously.

This is my 8th year on the road with NASCAR for the SPEED Channel…yep, 8 years. It has totally flown by. Somewhere along that line, I got a call from a producer at BBC Worldwide asking me if I’d be interested in talking with them about being a host for the American version of the gigantic show Top Gear.

The whole time I kept trying to remember all the details so I could tell my friends about it once I was of course eliminated and at home watching like everyone else. Then, somehow, I got the call that said I was one of the hosts…talk about a dream come true. To have the opportunity to have not just one dream job, but two, is hard to put in to words how truly blessed and lucky I feel.

And then this winter I got a call asking if I would be interested in being in the Toyota Pro-Celebrity Race that takes place at the Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix on April 14th. This is a call that I’ve been hoping to get since I was a kid…honestly. I remember watching that race on tv thinking “these are normal people who followed their dreams and ended up with really cool jobs, racing in a car that you can actually go buy at a dealership, racing on a world class track that hardly anyone gets to actually race on!” and now here I am preparing to hit the track. Total dream come true…

I can’t thank Toyota Racing enough for the amazing opportunity to be in the TPCR. I am of course still surprised to be put in with this amazing talented bunch, which to name a few includes super cool folks like William Fichtner (actor who won the race last year), Kim Coates (actor- Sons of Anarchy), Jillian Barberie Reynolds (Good Day LA) and my new friend Brody Jenner (from The Hills-super nice guy!). There are also some pro’s racing like Bryan Clausson (USAC/Indy Lites Racer), Fredrick Aasbo (Pro Drifter), and incredible music producer Jim Jonsin (Also races Grand Am- Rebel Rock Racing).

One of the coolest people there though is a guy named Jerry Westlund. Jerry is a really funny, really sweet guy who just happens to own 22 gentlemen’s clubs across this fine nation of ours. Jerry has been in the race 3 times before, and he wins this chance in a charity auction that benefits Racing For Kids, which is truly the reason we’re racing at all. Jerry is the life of the party, and has always made memories for the other contestants, but he’s really made a lasting memory on the children. Including this year’s race, Jerry has given more than $ 270,000 to this amazing cause, and although you may never see him on a tv show or in the movies, that makes him the biggest name in this bunch to me.

I’ll be racing in a TRD Scion TC that’s supercharged, a blast to drive, and completely reliable. As a car guy, I can tell you the hardest thing sometimes to do is make power that’s reliable and somehow TRD did it. So yeah, you can go to a dealership, pick up a stock Scion TC and grab the TRD parts catalogue and build your own.

Next year they’re switching to the new Scion FR-S which I personally can’t wait to drive…so that makes me wonder…if I win this thing, and I’m going to do everything I can to do so, does that mean I get to keep the car ?

A guy can dream right? That’s what got me this far…so I can’t stop dreaming now.

Here are a few pics I took while in LA for the first practice.  All add a few more after the press practice on April 3rd.
Me and pro drifter Fredrick Aasbo rockin’ the Rogue Status!
My buddy Brody Jenner was trying to race in golf shoes!  Ended up giving him a pair of my Globe skate shoes.
Music producer and Rebel Rock Racing owner Jim Jonsin, last year’s winner and actor William Fichtner, myself and Kim Coates from Son’s of Anarchy showing some love for the DTA Posse!