Former NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson teased an upcoming NASCAR-related project in late April. He posted several videos and photos featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, and the Rev Racing pit crew. Weeks later, NASCAR revealed that the content was for an upcoming collaboration, “I AM NASCAR,” with the “I AM ATHLETE” podcast.
According to a press release, the podcast featuring former NFL stars Brandon Marshall, Johnson, Channing Crowder, and Fred Taylor will begin releasing a series of special episodes focusing on professional motorsports. The first episode in the “I AM NASCAR” series will prominently feature Earnhardt, who previously welcomed Marshall onto his “Dale Jr. Download” podcast.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) May 6, 2021
“This is a great opportunity for us to give IAA fans a look into a totally different area of the sports world and share our experiences on the racetrack,” Marshall said in the press release. “We’re always looking to push the boundaries of what people would expect from our show. Diving into this new world is a great way to expand our audience and their perspectives.”
The series will air weekly for the next month while featuring interviews with top drivers. It will then continue with new monthly episodes. All content will be available on the “I AM ATHLETE” YouTube channel.
The trailer sets the stage for wildly entertaining moments
While the “I AM ATHLETE” hosts will likely discuss serious topics with the NASCAR drivers, there will also be lighthearted moments for the fans. The trailer provided a glimpse into the ways in which the former NFL athletes will put their personalities on full display.
They dealt with the physical effects of driving nearly 200 mph around Charlotte Motor Speedway and then stumbled around while trying to properly pull off a pit stop. Crowder, in particular, quickly learned that he didn’t yet have the ability to undo all five lug nuts in 0.8 seconds as the professional crews do.
The trailer did not provide any details about which drivers will make an appearance in the coming episodes, other than Busch and Breidinger, NASCAR’s first Arab-American female driver. However, “I AM ATHLETE” has continued to land high-profile guests during its early time in existence. The upcoming NASCAR series should be no different.
A conversation with Bubba Wallace prompted this crossover
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) March 8, 2021
Bubba Wallace, the driver of the No. 23 23XI Racing Toyota Camry, previously made an appearance on the “I AM ATHLETE” podcast in March to discuss his childhood in Lower Alabama, driving for Michael Jordan, and his love of McDonald’s. There was also a moment when the former NFL defender in Crowder said that NASCAR drivers “aren’t real athletes.”
Earnhardt heard this critique, and he set out to set the record straight. He reached out to the podcast hosts and created an opportunity for them to experience different aspects of the NASCAR world firsthand. They attempted to work on a pit crew, rode in the passenger seat of a JR Motorsports stock car, and then conducted interviews with Busch and Breidinger.
“Being out there with Dale was a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience I never could have imagined,” Marshall added. “Hopefully people watching will see us pushed outside our comfort zones, and be inspired to do the same in their lives. We really learned so much from being on the track and talking to these drivers about what it takes to do what they do. I can’t wait to keep exploring this world on IAA and beyond.”
The first episode of “I AM NASCAR” will launch on Monday, May 10, with the 15-time Most Popular Driver taking center stage. It will be available on the “I AM ATHLETE” YouTube channel. New episodes will air weekly for the month of May.
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