Behind the scenes with NASCAR on NBC

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“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.”

Allen got his start announcing races at Eagle Raceway in Eagle, Nebraska after getting a degree in speech communications.

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.

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“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.”

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Read the full article here.

  

Fast and the Furious: Every Important Car and the Hot Babes Who Drove Them

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We’ve hit the inevitable annual lull in the American sporting calendar. The NBA and NHL seasons are done, the NFL preseason hasn’t started, and MLB will drone on for another three months before anyone cares.

So as a dude, what can you do to occupy your time? Stare at cars, and hot babes, longingly.

How every important car from each individual movie that comprises the entire Fast and the Furious franchise?

The site is loaded with cool images, driver info, and even factoids you probably didn’t know. Did you know Frankie Muniz of Malcom in the Middle fame bought Jesse’s Volkswagen Jetta from the first film?

The series was established in 2001 and was followed by six sequels, two short films that tie into the series, and it has amazingly become Universal’s biggest franchise of all time.

Get your scroll on by clicking here.

  

On Location: Ball Up Streetball “Search for the Next” Tour with The Professor and Eric Gordon

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Streetball gets a bad wrap. After being exposed to the And1 Mixtape Tour, and occasional Rucker Park Tournament highlight, it’s easy to envision four guys standing around while one guy dribbles, each possession punctuated by a slam dunk with little or no defense.

But 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.

After a solid performance in the game, he joined the team full-time and was suddenly getting paid to play basketball, literally overnight.

“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.

Here’s that move, in a single frame:

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Read the full article.

  

Sea Gals Look Hot, Present Seahawks Fan Cruise

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Princess Cruises, the Official Cruise Line of the Seattle Seahawks, kicked off the “Sail with the 12s” with an onboard rally featuring the Sea Gals dance team. Wide Receivers Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse were also in attendance alongside mascots Blitz and Boom.

The Sea Gals were on hand to incite the crowd to join other fans on the Alaskan cruise, that also features several current and former Seahawks joining the cruise for exclusive Q&A sessions, meet-and-greet autograph signings and photo opportunities. Click the link for full details.

  

Burning Nitro With Patron Funny Car Driver Alexis DeJoria

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.

Read the full story here.

  

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