Six Pack of Pop: Richard Rawlings
November 06, 2013, Holly Cain, NASCAR.com
Fort Worth native Richard Rawlings -- co-host of The Discovery Channel's popular "Fast N' Loud" TV show -- was clearly in his element during Sunday's AAA 500 NASCAR stop at Texas Motor Speedway.
Fresh off news that his show has been renewed another 36 episodes, and enjoying great success with his Gas Monkey Bar and Grill restaurant in Dallas, life is good for the 44-year-old.
He sat down with NASCAR.com to talk about NASCAR racing in his backyard, his fan philosophy, the Cannonball Run world record and his strong connection with race drivers and teams:
On having his Gas Monkey brand on the rear bumper of reigning Sprint Cup Series champ Brad Keselowski's No. 2 Miller Lite Ford at Texas:
Rawlings: "It's pretty simple. Everybody knows I like Miller Lite. We've been working together and honored for them to put us on the back of the car and something I don't think I would have believed if you had told me that would happen when I was a kid.''
On his fondness of NASCAR racing:
Rawlings: "I've been following NASCAR since they built the track in Texas. I was here from Day 1 when they opened this thing (TMS). Flew in on a helicopter. It's a really cool sport, but really expensive entry level (laughing). I would love to have a team.''
On setting the "Cannonball Run" world record in 2007 with a time of 31 hours, 59 minutes driving from New York to Los Angeles in a street car:
Rawlings: "I've never participated in any sanctioned racing so to speak. But Dennis (Collins) and I have the Cannonball Run world record. Supposedly someone beat it a couple weeks ago, but I haven't seen the evidence. If he did, great, if he didn't, well we'll hold onto it little longer.
On whether he'd try to get the record again, if he lost it.
Rawlings: "Mathematically that's doable but you've got to have a lot of things in your favor to pull that off. I'm sure I'll give it a shot (if record broken).
"I mean, what am I going to do with this tattoo now? (pointing to huge tattoo on left forearm showing Cannonball Run time).
His approach to cheering for a driver:
Rawlings: "I'm more about being in the infield, drinking beer, raising hell and having a good time. I'm not an 'I love this guy' type. Whoever's out front, I'm yelling for them."
On the reception he receives walking around the NASCAR garage:
"It's pretty amazing. We've been talking to the crowd and it's amazing the number of people that watch this show. (Walking through the garage) all the guys wave and yell, 'Gas Monkey.'
"The show's been two years and just got picked up for 36 more episodes so very humbled and blessed to be where I'm at. Get free beer every once in awhile so it's neat."