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The Racing Writer's Podcast


Racer Magazine's Kelly Crandall brings stories and interviews from drivers and personalities from NASCAR, NHRA, and more.


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Racer Magazine's Kelly Crandall brings stories and interviews from drivers and personalities from NASCAR, NHRA, and more.





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Ep. 302 | Ash Vandelay

The media world is changing and that means how people are consuming content. Along the way comes titles such as ‘Content Creator,’ such as Ash Vandelay. We’re having an open conversation about the role this weekend. But we start with her having a stage name for her online pages; recently moving to Charlotte; her background in content creation; adjusting to doing work from the racetrack; what seems to be the most popular with the social media algorithm; using the label of content creator and how the motorsports landscape is changing; having access and using it correctly or effectively; not all content is meant for everyone; playing the algorithm game; the toughest thing about creating in the motorsports space; the substance and effort behind posting content; doing a part for inclusion of women in motorsports; a message for others or those coming into content creation. Original music created by Tony Monge. Follow me here:


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Ep. 301 | Doug Duchardt

Doug Duchardt, the president of Spire Motorsports, has been busy since joining the organization at the end of 2023. Duchardt takes us inside the walls of the race shop and how things are going for everyone; the expectations versus reality moments for him with a new organization; going from established, successful companies to one trying to get to that level; having incentives in place for team members through the season; bringing experience from other companies to Spire; the importance of mindset for employees; the special feeling around the Truck Series program; the comfort of having younger talent in the pipeline; how big it was to sign Michael McDowell; focusing on the tangibles and intangibles McDowell brings; making the 71 a full-fledged Spire Motorsports effort; changing expectations for 2025; managing the number of cars in an organization; a look at the three drivers under the Spire Motorsports banner this season; grading the organization halfway through the regular season and forecasting the rest of the season. Original music created by Tony Monge. Follow me here:


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Ep. 300 | Chris Gabehart

Chris Gabehart is offering more insight into what race day is like for a Cup Series team after allowing full access at Darlington Raceway. Gabehart explains digging into the data to form and execution during the race; the hours of work that take place after leaving the garage on Saturdays; taking the information from Saturday’s on-track activities and finding the medium with expectations for Sunday; being pretty sure of the approach going into the race; knowing early how the race is going to unfold; the facetime with Denny Hamlin on race day; painting a picture of the information available on the pit box and the radio channels; Gabehart tracking his car and monitoring the competition; managing information from the data versus Hamlin’s feedback; the television broadcast being a part of the information Gabehart wants; starting the screen war on the pit box; dealing with the internet going down on the pit box; the differences between resources on a pit box in the Xfinity Series and the Cup Series; conversations on the private radio channels; the difficulty of being aware of how the race is playing out outside the 11 team; the takeaway of being embedded with a race team. Original music created by Tony Monge. Follow me here:


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Ep. 299 | Jade Avedisian

Jade Avedisian is a name that you’re going to keep hearing about if you haven’t already. Avedisian is a dirt star who is beginning to transition into pavement racing, too. And with the attention comes interview requests, which she’s enjoying after one day hoping it would happen. Avedisian explains what that means; having NASCAR stars like Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell believe in her talent; having a calm and focused personality; understanding the balance of life with racing and being a teenager; what’s to come this year; expectations for going back and forth between dirt and pavement; working with a spotter for the first time; getting into racing at a young age but taking time to stick; the craziness of dirt racing; dirt racing helping pavement racing; what a lap is like behind the wheel of a dirt midget; the sensation of a flip or wild ride in a midget; the opportunity to run GR Cup this season; what the most thrilling thing about racing is for her and the accomplishment most proud of so far; how important it is to have a championship on her resume; the experience of doing ice racing; the desire to go Cup Series racing one day; where to watch her race and follow her online. Original music created by Tony Monge. Follow me here:


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Ep. 298 | Angie Skinner (pt. II)

It’s the second part of our conversation with Angie Skinner, and it’s chock-full of laughs. Skinner discusses the dynamic of ‘Skinner Roundup’ for SiriusXM NASCAR Radio as husband and wife; wanting to be involved more on the radio; thoughts on staying visible in the sport and asking for what you want; the misperceptions about the personalities of the Skinners; recalling the start of the Craftsman Truck Series; the story of how Mike got back into the Truck Series years later and the others who followed; tales of shady team owners, aligning with Toyota and racing with Bill Davis; rivalries and memories of Truck Series competition; what people should know about Angie Skinner. Original music created by Tony Monge. Follow me here:


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Ep. 297 | Angie Skinner (pt. I)

The view is different but the fun is still the same for Angie Skinner at the NASCAR racetrack. Skinner explains how she gets to mix business and pleasure on the road these days; goes in-depth on how the sport has evolved, including its merchandise; not being a typical driver’s wife and working hard to have her own identity; the jobs along the way and wanting to focus more on herself; striving to be creatively challenged but not pigeonholed; aiming to imitate Barbara Walters when looking at some upcoming projects. Original music created by Tony Monge. Follow me here:


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Ep. 296 | Kenny Lubanski

Kenny Lubanski is an old friend and our paths have crossed again in the racing world. We’re going in between the lanes of an NHRA drag racing as we learn what a co-starter is and the many responsibilities it entails; how to operate the Christmas tree; working his way into the position; the unique travel schedule and options; getting his start at Englishtown and persistently handing out a resume to break into the NHRA; being next to starting line blow-ups and massive incidents; having nerves of steel at the starting line; working on the track after a rain delay or incident; wearing rubber for days; why someone should experience a drag race at the racetrack. Original music created by Tony Monge. Follow me here:


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Ep. 295 | Ray Evernham

Ray Evernham has a new book available and there is a lot to digest from its contents. Evernham went through moments seared into his memory; has a very specific title; going through the process of putting thoughts and emotions on paper; working through what to include and not include; leaving Hendrick Motorsports being a low point in his life; not wanting to celebrate the 1997 championship; the humor of introducing Rick Hendrick to the 24 team; digging harder into work when things get hard; the incident that put into perspective building race cars for other people; how long it took to get comfortable on the team radio; studying radio communication to manipulate others during a race; using the rulebook to his advantage and memories of conflicts with Bill France Jr.; the reception to the book with family; the arch of his friendship with Jeff Gordon; if the book will help educate many on Evernham being more than the 24 team. Original music created by Tony Monge. Follow me here:


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Ep. 294 | Kerry Tharp

Kerry Tharp served as a member of the NASCAR communications team and is now the former president of Darlington Raceway. But that’s not his entire backstory. Tharp joins the show to discuss going through the transition of the sport moving on without him; not being completely retired; Darlington being a special area and racetrack; the opportunity to serve as track president and what makes a good track president; the evolution of the sport and NASCAR media center during his career; becoming comfortable with the drivers; navigating the tough situations; a Talladega Nights cameo; mentorship from the late Jim Hunter; taking a job in a sport he didn’t like; crossover between working in college sports and then NASCAR; having a different level of investment in the sport after retirement; reflecting on a fulfilling career. Original music created by Tony Monge. Follow me here:


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Ep. 293 | Charlie Krall

There are a lot of positives for the ARCA Menards Series as a new year heats up and Charlie Krall is here to dish on it all. Krall offers his thoughts on the state of the series as it begins another season; having an Andretti compete in the season; what it means to be the manager of communications for the series and the responsibility of promotion; having a deep background in racing to be perfect for such a role; handling negative criticism often attached to the series; the evolution of the ARCA Menards Series; calling races for Flo remotely; the work to keep track of three different series; what he enjoys most about the job; what he would use a magic wand for on the series; his hope for the 2024 season. Original music created by Tony Monge. Follow me here:


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Ep. 292 | Landen Lewis

Landen Lewis is an 18-year-old rising star, and now he’s under the Kevin Harvick Inc. banner. Lewis shares about working in the race shop and why it’ll be beneficial; the journey of a fourth-generation racer; wanting to help even younger drivers as a mentor/coach; having a diverse background of experience and coming from dirt; transition from dirt to oval and road course racing; being a fan of Legend Cars racing and why they are a good experience for drivers; recent success in Legend Cars competition; being under the Ron Hornaday learning tree and living with the Hornaday family; consuming and learning racing away from the track; the importance of the ARCA win at Portland in 2023; keeping out the noise; wanting to go Cup Series racing but keeping his options open; modeling himself after other drivers; having a work/life balance; expectations for 2024 in late models; having open plans for the season. Original music created by Tony Monge. Follow me here:


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Ep. 291 | Adam Alexander, Pam Miller, Kevin Harvick

Fox Sports is in its final season of NASCAR Xfinity Series coverage, and in a way, it also comes full circle this year as Kevin Harvick graduated to the Cup Series booth. Harvick was one of the first drivers to go into the broadcast booth for Fox Sports. In reflecting on the past nine years of using driver analysts, we have three voices on the podcast. Adam Alexander shares what the emotion is of the final year of Xfinity Series coverage on Fox Sports; what makes a good guest analyst; building chemistry on the fly every weekend; embracing the constant change in the booth each week; insight that can only come from drivers; being the air traffic controller connecting all the voices; making sure everyone is prepared; the balance of entertainment and information; reflections on being in the booth for every race Kevin Harvick has called; why Harvick has separated himself from other guest analysts; if he will easily transition to the Cup Series booth; the legacy of Fox Sports Xfinity Series coverage with the drivers. Miller shares her thoughts on the final year of Xfinity Series coverage; the backstory of using drivers as guest analysts; needing to convince people; the tight turnaround from being in the car and getting to the booth; drivers becoming more willing to go into the booth; the benefit for Fox Sports; the work that goes into someone new in the booth each week; the experience of working with Harvick for so long; Harvick taking the lead on the Drivers Only broadcast; the evolution of preparation for the drivers; how she’s felt the process has gone over the years; seeing Harvick love onto the Cup Series. Harvick gives his praise of how the concept has gone over the years; the benefit to fans and the broadcast of using drivers; why he was the first to agree to be in the booth; when he realized television could be a second career; it feeling full circle going into the Cup Series booth. Original music created by Tony Monge. Follow me here:


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Ep. 290 | Bill McAnally

Bill McAnally is one of the most successful owners in NASCAR and it’s quite a history. But before we dig into that, McAnally opens up about the 49er treasure trove in his office and the connection he has to the team. Then, why there is a NAPA motorcycle hanging on the wall of the race shop? We pivot into having race shops on both coasts; his history in racing and starting as a driver; focusing solely on team ownership; the strength of racing and talent on the West Coast; the background on the organization becoming a driver development program; the approach McAnally takes to driver development; the surreal success of the organization with young talent; his NAPA relationship born in high school; racing going from a hobby into a business; how long it took to be able to fully focus on racing; expanding from the west coast to Truck Series racing; partnering with Bill Hilgemann; expectations changing within the Truck Series program; Eckes changing their mindset; adding more truck teams this season; balancing time on both coasts; the success of the auto care centers in California. Original music created by Tony Monge. Follow me here:


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Ep. 289 | Chris Hall

Legacy Motor Club has brought their pit crews in-house this season, and there was no better man for the job than Chris Hall. As the director of pit crew operations, Hall explains being tasked with building the crews from scratch; his job title defined; starting on 2024 in Sept. 2023; dealing with deadlines and free agency windows; the difference in putting together full-time pit crews and a part-time third; being teammates with the 23XI Racing crews; a breakdown of some of the new crew members; what goes into finding the right people; organizations who do pit crews in house and others who lease them; what life looks like for a pit crew member leading into race weekend; life on pit road; getting the most out of the teams during the season; focusing solely on Cup Series pit stops and no other series; the evolution of the Next Gen pit stop; the times to look for on pit road this season. Original music created by Tony Monge. Follow me here:


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Ep. 288 | Erica Enders

Erica Enders is a six-time NHRA Pro Stock world champion and now the winningest woman in motorsports. In this episode with the GOAT we’re discussing how drag racers really care about the number on the side of the car; the little details incorporated in her firesuit, shoes, gloves, and race car; positive mental attitude work; being counted out by the competition early in the season; the addition of bonus points from the #2Fast2Tasty Challenge; why it works having a chip on her shoulder; becoming mean when the helmet goes on; being misunderstood or apologizing for who she is; putting into perspective the 2023 season; getting the sixth championship ring; what goes into preparation; mainstream media attention; fear; DTBB; Bradenton expectations and it being big for drag racing; having a pre-season warmup event; finding a new challenge for 2024. Original music created by Tony Monge. Follow me here: Read about Erica Enders here:


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Ep. 287 | Bryce Kenny

Bryce Kenny is a Monster Jam driver, public speaker, and new author. Kenny joins the show to share how the book has been doing out in the universe; not seeing out to write a book but why there is a need for another self-help or inspiration guide; dealing with imposter syndrome; choosing to start the book with a very pointed John Wayne quote; success coming from inconvenience; the power of positive thinking and knowing what you want; having adults try to control his intensity growing up; people over projects; what you need to know about Monster Jam; Monster Jam University; the most important message for others. Original music created by Tony Monge. Follow me here:


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Ep. 286 | Kip Childress

A lot has changed since Kip Childress last joined us on the podcast, so he’s getting you caught up on what it’s like being the executive director of the CARS Tour after leaving NASCAR. Childress finally looks back on the emotions of his final weekend from July in Chicago; if there has been any adjustment to leaving the NASCAR world behind and doing something new; being a more public figure with his CARS Tour role; being involved in penalties and other big moments in the series; having momentum and ideas to get the CARS Tour to grow; the feeling that grassroots racing has become more well known in recent years; striking a balance of promoting new stars but having Cup Series drivers run races; how the final events of the season shaped up; what is to come in the immediate future for the CARS Tour. Original music created by Tony Monge.


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Ep. 285 | David Green

David Green is a former NASCAR driver turned safety official, and we’re digging into that this week. Green takes us inside what his job title means and responsibilities are; what equipment NASCAR puts in the cars each weekend; the process of looking over a car in the garage after an on-track incident; how the decision is made to take a car back to the R&D Center after an incident; his responsibilities after the initial inspections are done and keeping an eye on the garage; the benefit of having a former driver in a safety position; the differences in the cockpit from when he drove to today; how he viewed safety when he was a driver; how younger drivers view Green in the garage if they grew up watching him race; the benefits of doing individual shop visits during the winter; checking out NHRA races to see what other series are doing with safety; what Green enjoys about racing these days. Music created by Tony Monge.


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Ep. 284 | Justin Nunley

Listen, did you know that telling jokes isn’t Justin Nunley’s day job? Nunley is an active member of the Air Force, but he’s known for the content he creates on social media. Nunley explains why he didn’t want his military job to be his identity; if comedy helps him escape what he sees in the real world; being able to have an online presence while in the military; being funny but educational; being the most annoying person in the room; having a catchphrase and punchline; intentionally putting Easter eggs in his videos; if he cares to keep up with all the platforms and social media trends; knowing which content is acceptable for which platform; not blaming the platform when a video doesn’t do well; not caring about offending people; being a legitimate NASCAR fan and how he started being invited to races; being a part of driver introductions at Bristol and how he approached the job; what he gets out of being used at a racetrack; if he believes it’s worked in NASCAR’s favor to use a well-known personality; being a lesson for others about having passion for your craft but what people don’t see on social media; if he feels he’s balancing all aspects of his life well; not having an end game; if he has NASCAR specific goals; a message for listeners. Music created by Tony Monge.


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Ep. 283 | Alba Colon

Alba Colon takes us inside Hendrick Motorsports and the tools at the race shop that help their four teams win. Colon explains her role; the importance of the simulation and data tools, and how much has gone into improving them over the years; the difference in her roles going from General Motorsports to Hendrick Motorsports; growing up wanting to be an astronaut and having a family that never believed something was too big to achieve; racing entering the picture with a college project and quickly falling in love with it; how much exposure racing gets in Puerto Rico; being an advocate for STEM programs; being a strong female in motorsports and trying to pass that along; being loyal to Chevrolet and not taking other offers; an engineer’s challenge with the Next Gen car. Music created by Tony Monge.