Motor City Masters contestant creates Scholarship for LGBT Design Students

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Bryan Thompson, runner-up on this season’s Motor City Masters and recent Out of the Tunnel Podcast guest is putting his winnings to work.

Last night, on the final episode, Thompson came in 2nd to the talented Camillo Pardo.   After the show aired Bryan took to social media to make this announcement:

Congratulations to Camilo Pardo! It was an honor to compete alongside Camilo on#MotorCityMasters, and I had a blast.

We decided to share the prize, with the first place winner keeping the $100,000, and giving the Camaro to the runner up.

This means the world to me because it means I can create, and fund, the design scholarship that I was competing for.

Without further ado, I’m proud to announce the primary reason I decided to compete on this show: to fund The Bryan Thompson Design Scholarship, created to reward exceptional talent in Automotive Design.

Thompson went on to say that the new scholarship fund will reward talented design students by helping pay for eduction at College for Creative Studies or Art Center College of Design.

Two Loves Combined

Two of my biggest automotive loves might not seem like the mesh – VW’s and NASCAR.

Wuste (Fest) took care of that last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  Wuste is one of the largest VW/Audi shows in the US – and they came from all over the country to Vegas for a weekend in the sun.

On Saturday afternoon, over 1,000 cars pulled through the turn 2 tunnel and took over the Cup and Nationwide Garages, the Neon Garage and just about every point in between.

Fine German engineering and a NASCAR track….. it just doesn’t get any better than that.

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credit Michael T. Myers – Queers4Gears

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credit Michael T. Myers – Queers4Gears

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credit Michael T. Myers – Queers4Gears

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credit Michael T. Myers – Queers4Gears

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credit Michael T. Myers – Queers4Gears

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credit Michael T. Myers – Queers4Gears

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Preview: The Rutledge Wood Interview

I had a chance to spend some time with Rutledge Wood this morning at Phoenix International Raceway.  NASCAR fans already know Rutledge from Speed TV – and now the rest of America is getting to discover Rut through “Top Gear” on the History Channel.

Rutledge and I talked about the difference in Top Gear fans and NASCAR fans – he shared how illegal videos uploaded to YouTube helped his score the job on TG – I ask him about his fashionable line of new Tshirts and sooo much more!

You will have to listen to the Out of the Tunnel Podcast coming up this week to hear the entire 18 minute interview…. but in the meantime – here’s a preview.

Click play to listen:

Top Gear US – Hitting the Redline

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After a break, the second half of the Top Gear season kicked off tonight on the History Channel.   If you havn’t yet checked out this show – you need to watch.  If you watched in the first season and didn’t get hooked, give it another chance – you need to watch.   Hell, even if you only love the BBC version of this show – you need to watch.

The BBC version of TG has a cult like following – so many of the TG faithful were not willing to give the American hosts a chance.

I do think the show had a slow start out of the gates in the first season.  Most of the BBC “snobs” were bashing Top Gear US before the show show even aired.    There were also folks who had no idea what Top Gear BBC was – but they also didn’t know to they needed to check out the History Channel for a car show.  It also took some time for the American producers and hosts to make it their own.

I think it took a season for Rutledge Wood, Tanner Foust and Adam Ferrara to find their groove.  The chemisty is now in-tune and the three play off each other – ribbing, prodding and humiliating each other at every turn.  You can tell they genuinly like each other and cut-up just like they would if the cameras and pop-tops were off.

(I think I just aged myself with that pop-top reference.  Kids, a pop-top is the removable tab on alumnim cans that we had when I grew up.  You would pull the sharpe tab completely off the can – they were like little razor blades and everytime I went to the pool or beach I feared slicing my foot open by stepping on one.  You may have heard this term, pop-top, in the Jimmy Buffet song “Magaritiville.”)

(OK, I may have just aged myself with that Jimmy Buffet reference.  Kids, Jimmy Buffet is a singer/songwriter that your Mom and Dad listen to when they would get drunk and screw.)

As a car guy, Top Gear is the most fun you can have on TV.  The formula is simple:  take three grown-up men acting like giggling teenagers, throw in some really fast cars, crazy stunts and funny writing…..

If you are not watching Top Gear US – you need to watch.

The show comes on the History Channel every Tuesday night at 9pm.

Click here to see clips and learn more about the show.

Not That You Asked, Adam’s 2012 Wishes

Queers4Gears contributor Adam Lovelace lays out his best wishes for the 2012 racing season:

  • A safe season for all racing series first and foremost!
  • Huge, major sponsors for Queers4gears.com so we can go to every single race!
  • I wish you all would listen every week to the Q4G Out of the Tunnel podcast. In fact, listen now right here: CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE SHOW
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr wins races and the championship even. Hey, I can wish big.
  • I hope Danica Patrick out performs and shuts up the haters. I hope she wins races.
  • I wish for less haters everywhere, not just racing.
  • I hope the Busch brothers get another big helping of humble. They need it. I’m not hating, just wishing.
  • I hope Queers4gears founder, Michael, starts being stalked by Kasey Kahne.
  • I wish Indycar would race on more ovals, or that the road courses were more competitive. Either one.
  • Every ARCA race televised! The ones they do televise are generally NOT the best ARCA races to watch. You are missing some good racing not seeing the short tracks. SPEED is a channel; they should show more racing of all types.
  • I want to listen to Sirius NASCAR online. It is 2012. I listen in the car for about 20 mins on the way to work and 20 mins on the way home. You know what lots of folks have access to during the day? Computers and mobile devices! I could listen all day. In fact, I pay extra to listen online, but one of the few channels I can’t get online? You guessed it.
  • Speaking of Sirius NASCAR, how about live qualifying and practice? Why not?
  • While I’m at it, how about some kind of app available to ALL smartphones? Again, it’s 2012. Keep up.
  • I wish the following would be banned from all tracks: the word boogity, all politicians of any persuasion, confederate flags (let’s move on), and Lee Greenwood songs.
  • I wish the Daytona 500 was still the day before a holiday. It was much better that way.
  • No rainouts, for any series.
  • More Friday/Saturday night races.
  • Autoclub Speedway should be reconfigured. While that’s being done Bruton Smith should remember what he did in Vegas and bring that to Kentucky Speedway. I think it greatly improved the racing.
  • I wish for all races to end two or three wide at the finish line.
  • I wish for all championships to be decided on the last lap of the last race of the season.
  • I wish for more first time winners. I love seeing drivers and teams get their first win.
  • I wish for more sell out races for all series.
  • I hope this two-car tandem racing in NASCAR is coming to an end. I’ll take the pack racing anyday.
  • Side by side commercials all the time. I love that feature and I see more commercials that way. Seems like wise marketing to me!
  • And, a shameless plug for myself, I wish someone from the racing world would call me. Offer me a job. I have many skills you need.
  • I hope you all have a wonderful new year and enjoy the 2012 racing season!!

The State of the Website

Gentleman who like Gentleman, and Ladies who like Ladies – the State of Queers4Gears is strong!

2011 was a banner year for Q4G.  We welcomed new contributors Ross Bynum (Indy), Cody Globig (V8 & F1) and Carla Page (NASCAR).  They share our love for racing and making people laugh….making them a perfect addition to the crew.  Troy Germain and Michael Myers pumped out the weekly podcast: “The Queers4Gears Radio Hour” – and while it wasn’t on the radio and sometimes didn’t last an hour – we appreciate you listening each week.

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Queers4Gears was profiled in two newspapers in 2011:  The Santa Rosa Press Democrat and The Las Vegas Review Journal.

One of the year’s highlights was when YOU – our readers and twitter followers donated to support Q4G founder Michael Myers in the Las Vegas AIDS Walk.  Q4G readers donated $1545.00 and that amount was matched by Penn and Teller!  Thanks to you – over $3000.00 was donated by Queers4Gears to AFAN (Aid for AIDS of Nevada.)

Site traffic made a dramatic jump this year.  Q4G moved to a new server host – and during the transition a technician asked if we still wanted the site blocked from the bots.  We were not aware that the “bots” used by search engines to index material for your searches was being blocked from Q4G until late this year.

Once we invited the bots in…. traffic jumped from an average of 3,500 unique visitors per month to over 12,000!

In 2012 – we are adding a new podcast, Michael Myers and Hannah Rickards will be covering action off of the track this season in “Out of the Tunnel.”

Keep your eyes open for weekly recurring race commentary that we hope will keep you laughing.

See ya at the track……………

Happy Thanksgiving

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Gobble Gobble people!  I hope you are all enjoying the time with family and friends this Thanksgiving.

I wanted to take a moment to express what I am grateful for.

Q4G Contributors: Huge gratitude for all the folks who contribute and help to make Queers4Gears such a fun site.  Troy Germain, Carla Page, Adam Lovelace, David Slater, Ross Bynum, Edward Ochoa, Cody Globig, Brent Summers and Jeff Wolf.  I hope I am not leaving anyone off the list – I can’t say how much I appreciate all of your efforts.

Track Folks:  I only get to attend the races out West and I want to say thanks to the folks at these tracks who have credentialed me and helped me bring live coverage to Q4G.  In particular – John Bisci and Jeff Motley at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Nicole Schieder, Paul Corliss and Jim Mascola at Phoenix International Raceway, John Cardnali and Hannah Philbin at Infineon Raceway and last but in NO way least – David Talley at Auto Club Speedway.  I appreciate the way these folks and their staff have welcomed Q4G at their tracks.

Media Friends:  ….talk about being afraid to leave someone off the list.  But there are a few folks that really have helped make my time in the media center special – and I am grateful for their friendships and advice.  Be it fiding out where the bath rooms are, where to get interviews or most imporantly; the best places to eat near the track – they are always willing to offer help.  Thank You: Lee Spencer, Reid Spencer, Lewis Franck, Jeff Gluck, Bob Pockrass, Jim Utter, Ryan McGee, Nicole Briscoe and The Speed Freaks – Crash and Kenny.

Most of all…. I am thankful for all of you – the readers.  Thanks for following along –  Happy Thanksgiving.

 

The Q4G Radio Hour – Season 1 / Show 32

On this week’s show we welcome new Q4G F1 and V8 Contributor Cody Globig and talk about the upcoming F1 and V8 races in the US.  Jeff Gluck from SB Nation called in to talk about the story he broke reporting the Chad Knaus instructed Jimmie Johnson to wreck the rear of the #48 if they won the race.  We also have an interview with Truck Series driver Jen Jo Cobb and Troy and I make our Martinsville picks…. listen here:

 

Seis with Troy Germain (Six Questions That Is)

This is an ongoing feature of Queers4Gears – where we interview someone from the world of motor sports and ask them six questions. This week we interview Troy Germain –  a Motorsports Broadcaster from Vermont.  Troy has been on the air for 20 years.   He currently calls races all over New England and Canada in the  ACT (American Canadian Tour) and also at the legendary Thunder Road in Vermont.   Troy is openly gay – not a common thing in the world of racing.   You can read a long form story about Troy from the Boston Edge by clicking here.

Q:    Did you ever want to be a Race Car Driver or work on Pit Crew?

troy-2A:    I have thought about it…. and a few times I have been offered to take a car out for practice and things of that nature.  I think I was more interested in it when I was younger but I never strapped into a race car – typically because I was afraid that I was going to like it too much.   My dad had a saying – that the only way to make a small fortune in racing is to start with a large fortune and it will be small by the time that your done.  So I have always tried to stay on the money making side of the sport – not that I make a ton of money doing what I am doing but I am certainly not losing money every week.

Q:    Who do you look up to in the world of Motorsports broadcasting?  Who are your heroes?

A:    Obviously,  I worked elbow to elbow with Ken Squier and Dave Moody for most of my ACT career so those are two guys that I look up to a lot.   One of the biggest influences in my earlier years of announcing was a gentleman by the name of Jim Clothey who passed away a couple of years ago.  He was the announcer at the track where I started back in New Hampshire in 1991.  He based a lot of what he did off of the younger Ken Squier years and I guess I based a lot of my stuff of the Jim Clothey when he was still active in racing – so he was an early influence.   Then moving onto Thunder Road – Moody and Squier have been pretty instrumental.   And  I gotta go for the New Englanders – like Mike Joy – I look up to him as well.

Q:   Have you ever said anything on the air that you regretted after some thought?

A:   Yeah – you know – you get caught up in the moment every now and then.    I can’t remember anything specific right now but just like Moody and Squier I like to call things as they are.  Occasionally I would amplify a bad day or bad season for a competitor saying, “This is the first race out of 10 that this guy has qualified for.”  You know there is a positive way to say it and a negative way to say it and occasionally I would go on the negative side.   But (I haven’t said) nothing devastating by any means.

I remember when I was first announcing there was this guy on a local track up at Groveton – and he was absolutely horrible.   I mean… he would spin out on every single corner and by the end of the night I was making a joke of it – “ohh, surprise, surprise…. he’s around again.”   Well, the following week, this guy came up to the tower and he tried to rip me a new one.  He said it was my fault he was driving so badly.  This was a hobby stock division and this guy was screaming about his sponsors that were in the grandstands and he said because of me they are not gonna back his car.   Not because he couldn’t drive though.

Unfortunately, what I am know for on the negative side of the ACT world  is messing up on the National Anthems.  There are at least two races a year where I play something else off my iPod instead of the National Anthem.   This year it was “Bad to the Bone.”  That is the thing I work hardest not to do – but I sometimes just press the wrong thing on my iPod.  I’m like – we don’t need a cassette or a CD – because I have my iPhone and it works perfectly.  I remember to put it on airplane mode so I don’t get a call or a text while playing the anthem – but one day went I tried to switch from the Canadian to the American Nation Anthem – it went to Bad to the Bone.  Could have been worse though – could have been Eminem.

troy-1Q:   At the top level of Motorsports Broadcasting – you see a lot of retired drivers and crew chiefs.  Dave Moody always jokingly points out, when he has them on his show, that they are taking work from well trained broadcast professionals.  On the other hand – you see some guys up in the booth who have great pipes and a sports broadcasting background but they don’t know a lot about racing. With a limited number of seats in the broadcast booth –  Which is more frustrating to you as a guy trying to work his way up.

A:  That’s a very valid point.  I am glad that I am not the only one that notices that.  Broadcasting at that level is such a competitive business to begin with and to see the Andy Petrees – the Larry McReynolds – the Darrell Waltrips – ect, ect…. it’s frustrating.   It used to be just one(guy);  there was Benny Parsons or Ned Jarrett and the others were racing broadcasters.  Someone like myself or Moody who have grown up around the sport for our entire lives can definitely relate to the fans better, if not more,  than these former crew chiefs and race car drivers.  They are very knowledgeable about the sport but they can’t broadcast.

And like you said – there are some great broadcasters that know nothing about the sport.  I think of Brent Musburger.  When it comes to football – it doesn’t matter who’s playing – if Brent’s calling the game then I am going to watch – because I so much enjoy his call of the game. But there was a reason he only spent one season in NASCAR – I am sorry but there was.  Joe Buck could call baseball and football – he could probably call field hockey and soccer but racing is a totally different sport all together. Chris Myers (for example) when he started out – not so good…… but he has taken the time to grow in the sport of racing.  Over the years he has developed into a good race broadcaster….. could I do a better job…probably (laughs).

There is defiantly a middle ground that is losing out:  the people that have the broadcast experience and have the knowledge of the sport…… they can relate to the fans and make it sound a lot more intelligent than it is.  I am one of those guys – that is slowly working my way up.  You look at FOX – Larry McReynolds, Darrell Waltrip  those are two chairs that could be filled.

Q:   Queers4Gears has gotten very little negative reaction – and you have said that generally there is a lack of attention paid to your sexual orientation in the garage.  I get many comments from gay people who are not race fans that have a hard time believing that – they just assume the world of racing would hate on openly gay people.   What would you tell those gay people to help them better understand the sport?

A:   The best thing that I can do and what I have done is take them to a race.  Because all they know is NASCAR – and to be honest -the last five to ten years……even I have a hard time sitting through that.  To ask someone that knows nothing about the sport to sit down and watch an entire cup race – that is not doing the sport (of racing) any justice.   So I will bring them to Thunder Road on a Thursday Night and I will make them pick a driver so they have someone to root for and can actually get into it.   With only one exception (an ex boyfriend) every person that I have brought to a race has wanted to go back.  It is exciting -they are rubbing fenders and spinning each other out – you can see a guy race from the back to the front in a 50 lap race.  But how exciting is it (in NASCAR) to watch 43 cars run around for 250 laps on a 1.5 mile track.  It is just not as exciting.

I agree that I get more negative feedback from the gay side than any negativity from the non-gay community.  In the garage I am just one of the guys.  I have brought boyfriends to the track and occasionally you get an odd look but that is far as it has ever gone.

Q:   In racing – who would be quicker to accept an openly gay driver…..the garage or the grandstands?

A:   That’s a good question – I might look at both sides of it.  In the garage – the person who comes out is someone that everyone already knows…… as a “person.”  And if they respect that person for who he is and what he does then they are going to accept his homosexuality.

In the grandstands all they know is the public persona of the person – they might look at it a little bit differently.  But on the flip side – there is so much gayness in mainstream society now – more so than even 5 ago……. and I think that would impact the public perception.   If a big name driver came out – who had been in the sport and was respected (by the fans) then I would hope they would be more accepting at that point.   I don’t know that’s a tough one.

Corvette Racing boss Doug Fehan confirms new 5.5L V8 for Sebring debut

gt2-vette-race-leadBack in August when General Motors introduced the all-new GT2 class Corvette C6.R, it ran downsized 6.0-liter version of the 7.0-liter V8 from the long-dominant GT1 car. At the launch, Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan told us the 6.0-liter was just an interim engine. With revised GT rules on tap for 2010, GM was already planning a brand-new engine for its race Vette.

Unlike the 6.0/7.0, which is a ground-up race engine that only shares basic architectural dimensions with the production small block, the 2010 C6.R’s V8 is a new 5.5-liter unit that will indeed be derived from the production engine found in roadgoing Corvettes. In fact, the 5.5-liter race engine will be built at GM’s Performance Build Center alongside ZR1 and Z06 V8s.

Fehan has confirmed that the 5.5 is running on the dyno and will make its race debut at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March. We don’t have any additional details on the new engine yet, although we were told earlier that it is based on the next-generation production small-block, which we expect to see in the Corvette soon.