Jan 21, 02:57 AM
I recently had the opportunity to talk with Dave Despain, host of the SPEED Channel's shows 'Wind Tunnel' and 'Inside Nextel Cup'.
I was honored to be able to speak to someone so well known in the racing world, who knows so much about so many kinds of racing.
It was a very nice conversation with an interesting man, and I am happy to share his answers with you.
JAW: I understand that you grew up in Iowa. Did you enjoy living there, or did you wish you lived somewhere else, like near a beach?
Dave: I thought it was OK at the time. When I grew up I found out there are lots of exciting place in the world, but I am proud of being from Iowa.
JAW: Who lived at home with you when you were growing up?
Dave: My parents, two sisters, and grandfather lived there.
JAW: Did you do stuff with your Dad when you were a kid?
Dave: My Dad and Mother both worked a lot, so they weren't home a lot of the time.
JAW: What was your Mother like with you when she was mad at you?
Dave: She would speak firmly to me, and make clear that what I was doing wasn't right.
JAW: What kind of food did your Mom make for you that you hated?
Dave: Pork chops. The rest of the family thought of them as a treat, but I didn't think so.
JAW: When you eat dinner now, what beverage do you usually drink with it?
Dave: A Margarita, or wine. It depends on what is for dinner.
JAW: Who taught you how to drive a car? What was your first car, or did you just want motorcycles?
Dave: My car was a 1951 Ford. I learned to drive through the driver education classes at my school.
JAW: Were you good in math in school?
Dave: No, I wasn't that great in math.
JAW: Have you ever broken a bone? I have heard that motorcyclists have a lot of broken bones.
Dave: I've broken 11 bones. When it is said to me that motorcycling is a breaking-bones sport, I consider than an insult. Most of the bones I have broken happened in other things, like playing football. One time at the Illinois State Fairgrounds I fell out of an announcer's booth and broke something.
JAW: If I got into your car right now and started it, what radio station would come on? Do you have a favorite music artist or kind of music you like the best?
Dave: In my truck I haven't had a working radio for a long time. In my CD player I have 'The Best of Van Morrison'.
JAW: I have read where your wife's name is Wendy. How often does she get mad at you?
Dave: Not very often.
JAW: I have heard that you have a lot of pets.
Dave: They are wonderful. We have eleven dogs, five cats, two cockatoos, and four pot-bellied pigs.
JAW: What is owning pot-bellied pigs like?
Dave: I would not recommend having them for pets. We have them because they have been rescued. They tear up my garden.
JAW: Who is your favorite NFL team?
Dave: I don't have one. I don't follow it at all.
JAW: If money were not an object, what is the first thing you would run out and buy?
Dave: Motorcycles. A Vincent Black Shadow, and a Brough Superior.
JAW: Where have you traveled in the world that is very special to you?
Dave: Just within the last 24 hours, I have returned from a trip to Machu Picchu in Peru, South America. My 78 year-old Mother climbed to the top of a mountain and got look out over Peru. My two sisters went along too.
JAW: Some rich people now can take rides in space. Would that be something you would be interested in?
Dave: I would rather ride my motorcycles in a lot of interesting places in the world. I don't plan on leaving the earth.
JAW: Do you have a hobby or talent that would surprise people?
JAW: Who was or is the best political leader, in your opinion?
Dave: When he was in office, I would say I thought that J. F. Kennedy was a great leader. Like most politicians he wasn't completely out in the open about everything, and as I learned those things my opinion was not as strong.
JAW: Are you allergic to anything?
Dave: (laughs) Boring announcers.
JAW: Let me ask you some questions about your show 'Wind Tunnel'. What motivates you while talking to your guests on your show?
Dave: Trying very hard not to embarrass myself in front of a whole lot of people.
JAW: What's the funniest thing that ever happened on your show that you remember?
Dave: A call came into the show once, and the caller said that everyone on Wind Tunnel should reference Howard Stern's body parts when we're talking.
JAW: Did you ever get so mad at a guest that you just wanted to throw them off the air?
Dave: Every caller who can't remember why they called, every guest who can't remember what they want to say, or a guest who says something that they probably shouldn't have.
JAW: I have read where you say that ESPN claims they had the first weekly racing talk show, but that you actually did. Do you have a rivalry with ESPN based on that?
Dave: This is just a running joke between the network and me. Bob Jenkins once stood up for me and publicly stated that I really had the first racing show. But if there is any rivalry it is just in the viewership.
JAW: In your opinion what was the worst NASCAR race ever run and why?
Dave: It was either at Rockingham or Darlington during the Hoosier/Goodyear tire war. The second worst was at Lowe's Motor Speedway last year when all of the tires were coming apart.
JAW: Do you have a favorite item of racing memorabilia? Where do you keep it?
Dave: The handlebars from a motorcycle that George Roeder ran a race with at Ascot Park, CA, in 1964. It was a bike that he had put together himself. I paid $100 at an auction for it, but I consider it priceless.
JAW: Do you participate in any racing fantasy games?
JAW: I always ask this of every person that I interview: Could I send you some information about Tourette Syndrome, as my Mother and I support sharing knowledge about this disorder?
Thank you, Dave Despain, for sharing some time with me, and allowing me to share your answers with the readers at cawsnjaws.com.