News & Media

Six Pack: Cameron creates Bristol's man cave

August 21, 2012, Joe Menzer,

Jason Cameron, host of "Man Caves" for DIY Network and creator of the Man Cave Suite for Bristol Motor Speedway that was featured on the Aug. 17 episode of the show (and will be repeated Aug. 31 at 10:30 p.m. ET), answers this week's six questions.

1. How did the Man Cave Suite, which is really cool by the way, come to be at Bristol?

"I'm a big arcade kind of guy, and that [simulator's] probably the most realistic thing you're going to get without being in an actual NASCAR car. "


Cameron: It's interesting how these things come about, but I think DIY does a really good job of partnering with places like Bristol Motor Speedway, which I'm a big fan of. Just to be there and hear the cars go by, and the shortness of that track and how crazy it is, and to be down on the race track with all the drivers and their crews was an amazing experience. But it really comes down to DIY working really well with these outside places like Bristol Motor Speedway and NASCAR. I think it was a great team effort.

I got to go on a ride around the track in a Ford Mustang with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. We were going 105 (mph) or something like that, and my hands were clenched into the armrest. I looked over at him, and it was like he was on a Sunday drive. But it was a really cool experience, and everyone was great to work with.

2. What were your favorite aspects of the suite?

Cameron: The theme in this one was a no-brainer. It was a combination of things. For one, you had to figure out the layout and make the best use of the space without making it feel like it was cramped, where if Bristol Motor Speedway is throwing a party in there or whatever, the people are comfortable.

I liked the dart board [which is inset in a Goodyear racing tire]. The dream seats, I love those and think they were a great addition to the suite. They're very comfortable. The recliners were great -- not only for being able to relax in but, obviously, being hooked up to the vibration system so when the cars went by it feels like a very real experience. You can not only hear them, but you feel the recliner shake as they go by, which I thought was really cool. The way we designed the bar, where we utilized the space for putting things away but it still doesn't get in the way, worked out really well. We also tried to incorporate the tires as much as possible, and I thought the bench we made out of them worked out really well, too.

But my favorite thing was the [race] simulator. That thing was insane. I had never seen a simulator quite like that before. So that simulator was a great addition and probably my favorite thing.

3. Did you or your co-host, former NFL star Tony Siragusa, try out the simulator?

Cameron: Well, we'd have to grease Tony up to get him in there, so I don't know if he made it in there, to be honest. We probably would have had to bring in a different seat to get him in there. But the rest of us tried it, for sure. I could spend all day in that thing. I'm a big arcade kind of guy, and that's probably the most realistic thing you're going to get without being in an actual NASCAR car.

4. So how does a guy from Toledo, Ohio, end up doing what you do for a living?

Cameron: Yeah, no complaints, and I'm really enjoying it. You know, it's funny. I actually grew up way up in the UP [Upper Peninsula] of Michigan in Marquette, went to Northern Michigan [University]. But the carpenter trade is something I grew up with and always relied on and always went back to, never realizing that I would end up using those skills like I'm using them now.

I moved up to New York 12, 13 years ago to pursue an acting career, believe it or not. I had no intention of using my [carpenter] skills in any way. It just so happened that an opportunity came up to be able to marry the two, and I said, "Hey, that's what I do." It was the perfect fit for me. I was actually running a construction company while I was trying to act, so it was just a natural fit for me.

5. Prior to jumping into this for DIY Network, you did act on a couple of soap operas and in the "Sex and the City" series, right? Getting back to Siragusa, what kind of role do you think he'd play on a daytime soap?

Cameron: I'll have to give that some thought. Him on "The Guiding Light" would be a funny thing to watch. I guess he'd have to be a bouncer or something like that. I can't see him in a three-piece suit as a lawyer. But he's done his fair share of acting. He's been in "The Sopranos" and some other stuff.

6. Judging from the way you joke around with him on the show and about him here, he's got to be a lot of fun to work with?

Cameron: He's also a pain in the ass, let's be honest. We have a good relationship, but it's like a love-hate thing. We're like brothers. We get along well, but there are times where I'm like, "Get the hell away from me!"

The great thing about Goose is that he's got no pressure on him. He can show up when he wants. He can bitch and he can moan, and then he can leave. I have to get stuff done.

But at the end of the day, he respects what we do. He may complain about it a lot, but his family is in the construction business, and he respects what we do. You know, I kid people all the time, but his restaurant has a man cave in it and even his wax figure at Madame Tussauds [museum] has a man cave that I had to build. And I don't have a man cave at my own place, so he always teases me about that. I've got a 1,000-square-foot condo and no man cave yet. I'm the guy building them all, and I don't even have one of my own yet!