“The first event I ever announced was a women’s gymnastics meet at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln,” said Rick Allen, lead announcer for NASCAR on NBC. “The guy who was supposed to do it didn’t show up. And I just happened to be hanging around, so I did it.”
As the then-reigning back-to-back Big Eight (now Big 12) Conference decathlon champion for the Cornhuskers, as Allen was in 1991 and 1992, why wouldn’t you be hanging around the women’s gymnastics team? If charisma was a sport, he’d still be leading the league.
Allen’s affable, smooth, confident tone on the air transitions just as easily outside of the booth to the confines of the NBC Sports tent where we talked about his job as the voice of NBC Sports’ rejuvenated NASCAR franchise.
“Nothing about this position is easy, but I am privileged and very excited to be here.”
He joined Fox Sports in 2003 and served as play-by-play man for Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity races until last year. Former NASCAR driver Jeff Burton and former crew chief Steve Letarte join Allen in the booth.
“NASCAR is seen as a guilty pleasure by a lot of people. We’ve all heard the jokes about endlessly turning left. But there is so much more to it. We want to explain and explore the strategy. Think about it in terms of football. If you run the ball on first and second down, you’re setting up a downfield pass on third down to the tight end. There is every bit as much strategy in NASCAR.”
The Ball Up “Search for the Next” is completely different from its predecessors. It’s a 10-city tour looking for the best undiscovered player in the country that culminates in $100,000 and a roster spot for the tour’s winner.
In 2003, the most popular streetball player in the world right now, The Professor, was one of them.
While attending an And1 Mixtape Tour stop in Portland, Oregon in 2003, the 5’10,” 155-pound 19-year-old Professor competed in an open run competition prior to that evening’s game and did well enough to get invited back that evening to square off against Team And1.
“Yeah, true story. We would’ve been fully content just watching the game,” said Professor about the experience. “I got there early and saw that there was an open run going on and that there was a chance. I hopped in as soon as I could and showed them what I could do.
“And next thing I know, I’m selected to play against the And1 Mixtape Tour team. I got the crowd excited again a few times in that game, and then that night, they asked me to go on tour with them, and I was just shocked.”
Ball Up started in 2009 and took the concept of touring streetball to a new level.
“The whole experience has been a blessing. I’ve been able to travel the world, got to call basketball my job thanks to the company giving me my first contract in 2003. So I just feel really blessed to be in this position and that Ball Up wanted to start this movement up again.”
The Professor is humble, but let’s not forget how sick he is.
If NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith admit to doing it, then there’s no shame in admitting you have, too. So go ahead and unburden yourself – 80% of men have used their girlfriend, wife or spouse’s haircare products.
“We’re all guilty of getting lazy and grabbing whatever the girlfriend or wife is using,” admitted Earnhardt Jr., as he forced a room of roughly 40 men to confront a grim reality about themselves.
“And, you know, that stuff’s not made for men: It’s not made for your hair. Guys out there, stop being lazy. Get the haircare products for our hair and for our needs.”
The numbers are appalling. 70% of men are interested in their own personal style, yet only 20% actually use products made for men.
But Suave Men wants to change that. And they know that education leads to prevention, and ultimately, choices a man can be proud of.
The “Suave Men Heritage and Hair: A Discussion with the Icons of Speed and Style,” took place on the eve of the NASCAR XFINITY race in Brooklyn Park, Michigan.
To some people, Alexis DeJoria is the wife of Moster Garage star Jesse James. To others, she is the daughter of Jean-Paul DeJoria, billionaire businessman and co-founder of Paul Mitchell hair products and the Patron Spirits Company. But on the NHRA Mello Yello circuit, Alexis DeJoria is one of the most successful Funny Car drivers on the tour.
We spent two days with Alexis and her team from Kalitta Motorsports at the Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kansas, and inadvertently found ourselves in the middle of the most exciting weekend in the history of the sport.
In this video, Alexis talks about how her car accelerates faster than anything on earth (yes, even a fighter jet), how she got into racing, and her career-defining victory in the 2014 NHRA U.S. Nationals, it’s 60th anniversary, a feat akin to winning the Super Bowl.
The day before we arrived in Topeka, during the second day of qualifying, DeJoria ran the best run of her career, an Elapsed Time (ET) of 3.994. ET is the time it takes from the car to get from the starting line to finish line.
Confidence opens doors that nothing else can. But confidence can also be misplaced. How do you know if the shirt you’re wearing is completely ridiculous until you actually wear it outside the house? Thanks to Speed Stick, at least I had confidence in my underarm scent.
But confidence was definitely not lacking for driver Cole Whitt. Even though Front Row Motorsports is at a distinct disadvantage, operating on one-eighth the budget of its competitors and Whitt’s highest previous finishing position this season a modest 22nd, Whitt was ready.
A Top 20 finish at Talladega would’ve meant a lot, as Cole explains in our interview below, shot immediately before the race. But Whitt was able to #DefyTheDoubt and lead the entire field with under 40 laps remaining en route to his best performance this season. Speed Stick is all about giving you confidence for the moment you shut down the naysayers, as Whitt did finishing a career-best 13th in the race.
I got a little excited during my interview, and it isn’t completely my fault – there’s so much energy at a NASCAR race, it permeates the grounds and is as real as the guy with the Dale Jr. shirt on next to you.