My Life – Claire B. Lang August 16, 2007Posted by claireblang in NASCAR.
(originally posted on XM Radio’s blog on 8/15/07 www.Infieldparking.com/XMRadio )
Thanks for clicking into my first ever blog on Infield Parking which will be a regular, down and dirty, true glimpse into my life on the NASCAR circuit traveling the country and hosting my national XM Satellite Radio show on XM Sports Nation daily from 4-7 EST. I hope what is different about my show is that you actually feel that you are on the road with me as you follow me through my trials and tribulations, join me on journeys for the answer and persist through moments of challenge as well as hysterical laughter as I hang out in the garage seeking the truth.
This blog will be an opportunity for me to level with you – give you my opinion, rant, get up on the wheel, and tell you the inside and behind the scenes of my so called life! I feel that I know so many of you via your emails and calls to my show –many of you have become friends and I don’t take your loyalty lightly. This will be an opportunity for you to get to know me and what I do even better and I vow to be honest and go deep into my life even if it’s tough or if you may not agree with what I have to say. I can promise you one thing – it will be the straight up honest snapshot of the real deal inside the sport.
I am going to be working with Infield Parking on some truly exciting new media projects that have never been done before and I can’t wait to tell you about them in the coming weeks. I can remember when I began with XM and I had a telephone in the media center telling you all the inside stories intimately and whispering into a phone. From there I progressed to ISDN broadcast lines. I can recall when years ago I was writing a “People Magazine” type column for NASCAR Illustrated and people said it would never work to tell those types of feature stories about drivers and what they did away from their race cars. I am always seeking the cutting edge, doing something that’s never been done and then when it’s picked up by everyone, I move on – take it one step further and push it to another level. To me, radio is a passion and an art form and broadcasting is something that I love exploring and expanding into new areas.
I can’t wait to tell you what I’ve got planned ahead – hopefully you can come along for the ride.
I will try to take you places in this blog that will go beyond what I am able to do on my show. My show is not about me – I don’t drive the race car and I am not the athlete. Giving an opinion is easy – everyone’s got one. My quest is more about giving you information from all sides that you can take to the water cooler so that you, the race fan, are never arguing about an opinion that has no basis in fact. Opinions are cool but in my world I need to back it up every day with what is real for the athletes and the only way to do that right is to live life on the road.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, my show is broadcast from a studio XM built in my house and doing the show this way sort of set off a trend in the industry – a wave of others putting a line in and doing a show from a card table in a back bedroom. This, however, is a true studio and it was built by XM in my entire front room with a picture window overlooking 2 ½ acres of rolling land where I put together three and a half hours of programming every day.
Many of you ask me if I take a day off – not often. The reason why is that I don’t feel that I can sit home on weekends and do what I do. I feel that I have to look the driver in the eye as he gets out of the race car, be right there in the middle when the driver is angry and pushing another driver and have the conversations with people leaning on tires that are off the record but lead me one step closer to the story of our sport.
Thursdays I leave for the race track and the mobile XM Studio where I broadcast from whatever city NASCAR takes its traveling road show to and on Monday I return – often making it back to my home studio moments before the show goes back on the air. I like for the show to not be over pre-booked in advance or pre taped. I am often answering the hot line (which I let ring while I am on the air) and work during breaks. I say often that it’s like “bungee jumping out of an airplane.” It is a rush to let it hang that way – moving and flowing with the topic or breaking news or what seems to be the flow of the hour and I mix that with pre-booked guests.
This coming week will be wild. I have been interviewed five or six times by the producers of NASCAR in Primetime airing at 10:00 p.m. EST on Wednesdays for six weeks beginning this Wed., August 15th. I am one of the featured reporters on the series and let me tell you talking to the ABC TV news camera about the drivers and the rules of our sport the first time I did it had my knees knocking – but never let them see you sweat.
I made up my mind to be honest no matter how it came out on the prime time series and I am totally interested to see what they use of what I said (eeek!). I’m sure that much of the hours I have been interviewed will end up on the cutting room floor. This Tuesday I am being interviewed again for the series at Lowe’s Motor Speedway – and I have no idea what they will ask me. So, I will look into that ABC news camera, which by the way is the size of a house, and shoot straight. It has become almost second nature to do that since I have been interviewed so many times by ABC on this project.
Thursday of this week I am leaving early for Michigan and NASCAR’s second trek to Michigan International Speedway. I am going to make a special visit to General Motors and broadcast from an XM Studio in their complex covering a special pre-race event they have going on up there involving drivers and their classic Chevy cars on Thursday afternoon.
Expect a lot of blogging from me – I am guessing it will come pouring out and I’m going to try, like with the ABC News cameras, to just let it spill and not weigh what flows out. Example I don’t want anyone to think if I blog one weekend that I am in the dark exhausted as if I can’t take one more step and near tears trying to get the equipment out to the car after a 16 hour day when I am the last person in the media center that I don’t love what I do. You might say “you are lucky” you are living the dream job. You are right – I have the dream job. I am blessed but not lucky – it’s taken a commitment of most of my life to get here and it’s extremely rewarding extremely hard work to do it right. My standards of right are very high and I work towards that every day.
This is installment one on Infield Parking and I have so much to tell you about – welcome to the window into my world. You might be surprised at what you find out about me and about the world that I live in as you follow me along the circuit and through life via this blog.
Oh yea- I often end my show saying “make it a good day” not because I am always cheery but because I feel that broadcasting is sort of a me, me, me business. I almost left it at one time to do something where I could give back. A listener reminded me that I give back every day talking to so many people and if I do it right I am giving them something to look forward to as they live life with me from 4-7 EST daily on the air.
So I figured we all have the power to make the world a little better and to turn our day around and to make happen what we want to have happen. I figure that is just a reminder of that to myself and the listeners every day when I sign off.
Now, I have to run – Bill Elliott has just turned over his ride to Boris Said so that Boris who did not make the Watkins Glen race Sunday because of a rained out qualifying will have a ride in the show.
Evidence that it is true that Karma exists – Boris who has helped so many and given out so much information when it comes to road racing now, in return, has had something given back to him – one word comes to mind about Elliott’s move – “awesome.”
Claire B. Lang
XM Satellite Radio