First, I have to say, WOW! What an incredible season and year it has been! From Kyle Busch being out for 11 races and coming back to win the Championship, to my first year Blogging about Motorsports, it has been CRAZY good! I have truly enjoyed my first year blogging/writing about NASCAR and other Motorsports and also getting to interview and meet drivers. Getting to interview some NASCAR drivers can be quite the challenge considering I haven't had the opportunity to receive Hot Passes to get up and close with them in the pits. Other times, it can be pretty simple. You just have to be prepared at the right time. Something I really had fun doing was attending Lancaster Speedway (a track I visit often) back in April for the USCS Sprint Car Race. It was my first race where I got to go in the pits and interview many popular Sprint Car drivers! I would love to do that again! I also had a lot of fun at the NASCAR Hall of Fame (my 3rd visit to the massive museum) back in January for Fan Appreciation Day. It was the first event I attended as a journalist/blogger. I got to interview up & coming stars, Ben Rhodes & Kenzie Ruston and I also got to interview former Miss Sprint Cup, Monica Palumbo. On top of that, I got pictures with Kyle Larson and many, many more drivers. Since starting this blog, it has truly made me realize how much I love the sport. I'm excited to say that I'm continuing this blog on to next year and beyond! I am working on some improvements for next year and also planning some new things for next year! Thanks to all the PR, drivers, family & friends who have made this a fun 1st year! That's all for this racing season, stay tuned during the off season for updates and post!
Until Next Time, Taylor Smith
As many people are focused on the chase drivers this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, wondering who will make it to the championship 4 at Homestead Miami, the additional focus is on a new driver who will be making his debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series! That driver is, Ryan Ellis! Ellis has had an abundant amount of starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and also the NASCAR Xfinity Series (formerly known as the Nationwide Series). As a child, Ellis competed in quarter midgets for 7 years! After quarter midgets, Ellis went on to race Legend Cars. After a multitude of success in Legend Cars, Ellis competed in the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup and more. He then went on to race in other series like the Grand Am and others. Later he made his debut in NASCAR debuting at Road America in 2012 in the Xfinity Series. Followed by his debut in the Camping World Truck Series in 2014. Ellis has now made it to NASCAR's top series debuting his #33 Science Logic Chevrolet SS for Circle Sport at Phoenix International Raceway.
I had the chance to send some questions to Ryan and he was generous enough to answer them.
Taylor: At what age did you know that racing was something you wanted to do for a living?
Ryan: As soon as I could peddle a hotwheels or draw pictures of racecars
Taylor: What is one of your favorite racing memories?
Ryan: Winning my TDI cup race 2010
Taylor: Describe one of your scariest racing experiences.
Ryan: Don't really have one
Taylor: As you make your Sprint Cup debut at Phoenix International Raceway, has anyone given you any tips or advice? Anything you are or aren't looking forward too?
Ryan: BJ McLeod- Drive every lap as hard as I could
Taylor: I saw you competed in the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup. How did that go?
Ryan: It was great, a huge opportunity that didn't have a ton of funds
Taylor: Away from the track, what are your hobbies?
Ryan: Hockey and sleeping
Taylor: What are your plans for the off season?
Ryan: Find a sponsor and ride for 2016
Big thanks to Ryan and his PR for working with me! Wishing you the best of luck this weekend!
Until Next Time, Taylor Smith
When people hear "Miss Sprint Cup" they usually think of the girl in the Sprint fire suit who stands behind the driver in Gatorade Victory Lane. What most people do not know, is that Miss Sprint Cup does far more than just stand in Victory Lane after the race. They get exclusive access of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to give fans a look at what goes on behind-the-scenes and represent the Sprint brand at the track every weekend. One of the girls who has done just that is former Miss Sprint Cup, Monica Palumbo. She represented the Sprint brand for 4 years with other girls who also served as Miss Sprint Cup traveling the NASCAR circuit to give fans an inside-look on the sport. Palumbo has an abundant amount of film and TV experience. She gained fame in 2001 when she won the title of Miss North Carolina USA 2001 and was awarded Miss Congeniality at the Miss USA Pageant!
Back in January, I was able to meet Charlotte native, Monica Palumbo at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and ask her a couple questions.
Taylor: Back in your Miss Sprint Cup career, what NASCAR Sprint Cup Series track did you enjoy traveling to the most?
Monica: Wow, they're all so different, jeez, I really don't know I have several. I like Sonoma just because it's different. You turn left and right. I really enjoy Talladega because you never know who is going to win, there is always the "Big One," the big wreck and the fans are so hyped the whole time because there is so much action always happening.
Taylor: What motivates you most on a daily basis?
Monica: My family! My six month old son because I want to be a good example for him, that's my motivation.
Taylor: Who is one of your favorite drivers?
Monica: Well, I can't have a favorite because I work with them *laughs* so you know they might hear this but Aj Almendinger is probably one of my favorites, him and Clint Bowyer because they're just so personable and they like to hang out with the fans which I appreciate because the sport wouldn't be anywhere without the fans and their answers are always very off the cuff.
Taylor: Before NASCAR, what did your life consist of?
Monica: Before NASCAR I was living in Los Angeles struggling to make it as an actress/tv host. Oh but what a fun life experience it was.
Taylor: When you have to travel to some of the races, what is a typical
race week/weekend like for you?
Monica: Nowadays it varies to compared to the Miss Sprint Cup job. I am normally hired to report at the track. So that means a full day of filming. Filming fun events happening at the track, interview race fans, covering practice, qualifying and of course the races!
Taylor: With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series being at Charlotte Motor Speedway for 2 weeks, what's May like in Charlotte?
Monica: May is CRAZY during speed weeks! A good crazy. There is so much going on, not only for us who are working but for the race fans. Fan days at race shops, concerts downtown Charlotte and driver appearances at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Taylor: How has life changed for you since Miss Sprint Cup?
Monica: It has changed a lot. I went from traveling almost every weekend to becoming a radio host. So I had a normal job Monday through Friday. I still worked for SPEED (now FoxS1) after my days as Miss Sprint Cup. Life has changed even more after the birth of my son. I'm at home with him majority of the time nowadays and freelance when a race track needs me.
Until Next Time,