Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Venturini Gets First Primetime Special

Update: For those readers who watched this program, please share your thoughts by using the COMMENTS section below. Thank you for telling us your opinion of Hometown Heroes on SPEED.

This week begins the build-up to the All-Star race on SPEED. Since that network does not carry any Sprint Cup or Nationwide Series points races, this week means a lot to the entire SPEED on-air staff.

The network is physically located in South Charlotte, right off Interstate 77. Having the All-Star festivities happening around town keeps everything right in the network's own backyard.

This year, SPEED has invested in a very interesting program that will be hosted by Wendy Venturini. The show will air on Wednesday, May 14th at 9PM Eastern Time. The official title is NASCAR Sprint All-Star 2008 Hometown Heroes. Despite the long name, the show may be one that deserves to find a place on your TiVo or DVR.

The format is simply a great idea and one that perhaps only SPEED and the NASCAR Media Group could create. Venturini asked the drivers who will be participating in the All-Star race to identify their "hometown hero." The single person who was a key mentor in their life. It could be someone racing-related, but not necessarily.

Venturini then hit the road, traveling to the hometowns of the drivers and finding the "hometown heroes" that were selected. The result should be an interesting look into the lives of unknown Americans who profoundly affected some of the highest-profile NASCAR stars.

Some of the folks interviewed include one of Ryan Newman's high school teachers, a 71-year old friend and fellow race of Ken Schrader and David Ragan's dad, former racer Ken Ragan. The list of other interviews is very diverse.

Venturini has worked hard to establish a style of interviewing that allows her subject to open-up and add emotion to an answer that may have only contained facts for another reporter. Before we call her the Barbara Walters of NASCAR, Venturini needs to put some more specials like this one under her TV belt.

She will be playing a key role in the upcoming coverage of the All-Star festivities, and a more detailed list of SPEED's special programming will be available on TDP early in the week. This special should be a good program to get things underway.

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