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Author Topic: Roush Racing Driver X  (Read 2857 times)
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Desmond
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« on: November 28, 2005, 05:22:41 PM »

At Cheryl's request, I have moved all the recaps of the Discovery Channel show Roush Racing: Driver X to this new thread.  The show is next scheduled to air tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

The first show was an overview of Roush Racing, highlights of recent successes (including the 2003 and '04 Cup championships), and a look at how 1,600 applications were narrowed to 25 candidates.

Next came the start of the auditions:
--Jason Boyd had the highest score of this group.
--Bubba Pollard, who is the youngest contestant at age 18, had a nervousness that matched his age and was definitely not ready for this competition.
--Sam Beam, Scott Lynch, and Jeffrey Choquette also appeared.

On episode 3:
--Travis Kittleson blew an engine on his second 20-lap run; he had to go into a backup to drive the evaluation laps (third 20-lap run).
--Danny O'Quinn ran a lap of 20.61 seconds, the first driver to surpass the standard time of 20.86 set by Ricky Craven. His overall score is the best of the 10 drivers so far.
--Sondi Eden performed better than any of the judges expected.
--Matt Jaskol and Nevin George were average at best.

The following week:
--The key word is disappointment. Justin Allgaier and Christi Passmore, two of the pre-competition favorites, have already been eliminated because their scores are in the bottom three. Passmore never fully recovered from a spin early in the second 20-lap segment. Allgaier, who has driven for Mike Mittler in the Craftsman Truck Series, was uncharacteristically nervous and never really gained speed.
--Chuck Barnes and Jason Hogan, rivals on the late-model circuit in the Southeast, had the two highest scores in the group. Barnes, in fact, has the fourth-best score overall, and if I remember correctly, Hogan is eighth.
--Chris Andrews, son of Kyle Petty's Cup crew chief Paul Andrews, also drove on this episode.   (As Cheryl told me, Paul was also Alan Kulwicki's crew chief for the late driver's 1992 championship run.)

Last week:
--The drivers in this group were from all over the place: North Carolina, Maine, California, Indiana and New Zealand.
--David Ragan wanted to pull tape from under the grille, but was not allowed to do so. So he wanted to pull a lot of wedge from both sides of the car, or something like that. Jack Roush allowed the change.
--Michael Pickens cried after Roush came to him and spoke to him personally. According to narrator Mason Pettit, this doesn't happen too often. Earlier in his segment, it was revealed that New Zealand, the country he is from, has no paved tracks.
--Joey Clark got some encouragement from fellow Maine native Ricky Craven.
--Late in the show, the highlight of Craven's race win at Martinsville in October was shown. Todd Kluever, winner of the 2004 "gong show," finished second in the race.
--In the group, Ragan had the best score, Pickens had the worst.

Overall standings (after 20 of 25 drivers):
1. Danny O'Quinn*
2. Jason Boyd*
3. Travis Kittleson*
4. David Ragan*
5. Chuck Barnes*
6. Tim Andrews*
7. Auggie Vidovich*
8. Jason Hogan
9. Joey Clark
10. Jeffrey Choquette
11. Scott Lynch
12. Michael Lewis
13. Nevin George+
14. Kevin Jaskol+
15. Bubba Pollard+
16. Sondi Eden+
17. Michael Pickens+
18. Justin Allgaier+
19. Sam Beam+
20. Christi Passmore+

*Qualified for the next round
+Eliminated


Look for a new recap after tonight's show.

Official show website:
http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/driverx/driverx.html
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Desmond
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2005, 01:14:26 AM »

The final five drivers in the first round group competed for Roush Racing on Monday night's show.

This was another diverse bunch: Canadian Peter Shepherd, road racer Michael Gue, Bud Kaeding, who lost his family race shop in a fire just before the competition; Erik Darnell (who, I think, is already under contract with Roush, something not revealed on the program), and Matt McCall, who was the final driver overall.

At this point, I was going to post the overall final standings, with the top 12 scores advancing to round two.  However, Roush Racing chose to ignore the final standings and made the ranking more subjective.  (I'll write more about this on the Feedback page).

Anyway, the final 12 are: David Ragan, Erik Darnell, Jason Boyd, Auggie Vidovich, Matt Jaskol, Tim Andrews, Chris Barnes, Danny O'Quinn, Travis Kittleson, Peter Shepherd, Jason Hogan, and Jeffrey Choquette.

Next week, the remaining contestants for Driver X simulate TV commercials, sponsor appearances, and autograph sessions.  The show should wrap up either Dec. 19 or 26 with the announcement of the winner.

Based only on what you have seen so far--and ignoring what you may have already heard on Jayski or elsewhere about what happened at the taping--who would you pick to win the Roush Racing Craftsman Truck Series contract?
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Cheryl
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2005, 01:30:05 PM »

Quote from: "Desmond"
Erik Darnell (who, I think, is already under contract with Roush, something not revealed on the program)...


Actually, Danny O'Quinn has been under a development contract with Roush since last year's "gong show" as well.  He was the first runner up (behind Kluever) and has been running a car in ARCA all season with some help from Roush.  It's certainly no secret.  I still don't think that gives him an edge in this competition.  As we've seen, Danny had to perform to get the score he got (highest in raw numbers).

Quote from: "Desmond"
Next week, the remaining contestants for Driver X simulate TV commercials, sponsor appearances, and autograph sessions.  The show should wrap up either Dec. 19 or 26 with the announcement of the winner.


I'm not 100% sure the show will be on next Monday night.  I checked my Tivo guide and it was not listed.  The producers may have taken a break in production between Martinsville and Darlington.  I'll keep checking Tivo and let everyone know when the next episode shows up as scheduled.

I'd rather not get into guessing who will win.  I'd also ask those who might have seen the results to PLEASE not post them on here.  I was reading a review of the show elsewhere and the writer didn't like the show and so went ahead and said "there's no point in watching, we all know X wins..."  That really pissed me off and I wrote the guy to say so.  And, honestly, I can't remember for sure the name.  I prefer to enjoy the show and not know until the end.  

Cheryl
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old hot rodder
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2005, 11:58:24 PM »

That writer is obviously not a Roush fan, Cheryl. :-D
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William James
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2005, 01:24:45 PM »

Quote from: "old hot rodder"
That writer is obviously not a Roush fan, Cheryl. :-D


Well neither am I, Dick, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying the show and not telling everyone who won or what I know happens. Wink

Cheryl
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old hot rodder
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2005, 04:55:03 PM »

Yep, that was my point. If you like racing and all that, it should be a pretty good show to watch, but some people seem to have to always complain about something or another, no matter what. :?
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William James
Desmond
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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2005, 05:30:06 PM »

Quote from: "Cheryl"
Actually, Danny O'Quinn has been under a development contract with Roush since last year's "gong show" as well.  He was the first runner up (behind Kluever) and has been running a car in ARCA all season with some help from Roush.  It's certainly no secret.  I still don't think that gives him an edge in this competition.  As we've seen, Danny had to perform to get the score he got (highest in raw numbers).


I had also read that as well, on the ARCA web site, but I had forgotten about it.  And, as you wrote, you don't think it helps him too much.  Still, that relationship should also be disclosed.

The FCC requires such disclosures on traditional game shows, and game show analyst Steve Beverly has called for a similar requirement on talent contests (like this one) and game operas (e.g. Survivor).  I obviously agree with that.
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Desmond
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2006, 09:27:16 AM »

I resumed watching Roush Racing: Driver X tonight.

The phase of the competition at Darlington Raceway was shown, with the same rules applying as with the first round at Martinsville.  This time, drivers received five practice laps, followed by 10 intermediate laps and 15 evaluation laps.  The benchmark time at "The Lady in Black" is 32.06 seconds.

Four drivers took to the track in the first group.

Auggie Vidovich, the Californian, was the star of the group.  He had the fastest lap, 32.22 seconds, and had impressed the judges during the mock public appearances the previous week.  Both the laps and the appearances were used to set the scores for each competitor.  With 280 points, Vidovich was the unquestioned leader, and, it turns out, the only driver to advance from this first group.

Jeffrey Choquette also had a fast time (32.37 seconds), but was nervous toward the end of the run, and Roush officials thought that the 18-year-old was too young to handle the pressures of a national NASCAR series.  Jason Hogan spun during his first practice lap and never truly recovered.  And Travis Kittleson disappointed Roush before evaluation despite a lap of 32.71; the times got worse once evaluation began.

Some of the discrepancy in times can be explained by older tires.  As we all know, Darlington is extremely tough on them.

I also learned that last week's show also had a mock press conference that included Benny Parsons and a reporter from National Speed Sport News.
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old hot rodder
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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2006, 04:20:30 PM »

Thanks, Desmond. I forgot all about Driver X in light of the excitement about the OSU/ND game. For once, football took precedence over racing. :-D
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William James
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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2006, 05:48:27 PM »

Dick, I can understand why you didn't watch at 7 p.m., because of the conflict.  I congratulate "your" Buckeyes on an impressive victory.

Then again, you could have watched the rebroadcast at 11 p.m. :roll:
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Desmond
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« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2006, 06:57:47 PM »

What happened Monday, Jan. 9:

Erik Darnell, Matt McCall, Danny O'Quinn, and Peter Shepherd drove in that order around Darlington Raceway.  To say the least, lots of potential in that group.
--Darnell got out to a blistering start, running 31.96 on his first practice lap and 31.75 on his first evaluation lap; both laps were much better than the standard of 32.06.  However, his final lap time was 33.34, a result of the track's notorious tire wear.  We also learned that his father and grandfather were also both race car drivers.
--McCall, who we found out has a college degree and a black belt in karate, nearly matched the standard with a 32.08, but had no faster laps than that.  However, his times improved as he found the ideal line and stopped fighting the wheel.
--O'Quinn spun out during one of the practice laps, but saved the truck.  Roush Racing gave him extra practice time after repairs were made.  Once evaluation began, O'Quinn was incredibly consistent, with each lap barely above 32 seconds.  In a taped piece, he emphasized the role of consistency in winning races and championships.
--Shepherd, who had never before run at a superspeedway, admitted: "I need help.  I'm lost out here."  Mark Martin took Shepherd aside and taught him how to drive the truck better at Darlington.  The result was that Shepherd improved his time by over a second from the first practice lap to the evaluations, with a best lap of 32.59.  On the final lap, the Canadian scraped the wall for his "Darlington stripe."
--The order of the scores: Darnell, 350 points; O'Quinn, 325; McCall, 320; Shepherd, 240.
--In a surprise, all four drivers advanced in the competition.  Specifically, Shepherd, despite having by far the lowest score, was not eliminated.  Jack Roush turned to the camera and joked, "The devil made me do it."  In reality, Roush liked both Shepherd's adaptability to the new tracks he has been on and his performance during the mock media sessions.

The last group of four, including David Ragan, drives on next week's show.  So far, five of eight drivers have moved on.
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Cheryl
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« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2006, 08:08:53 PM »

Quote from: "Desmond"
--O'Quinn spun out during one of the practice laps, but saved the truck.  Roush Racing gave him extra practice time after repairs were made.


Remember they did acknowledge that his tire went flat because of a slow leak and that's what caused him to spin out.   Cheesy

Cheryl
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Desmond
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« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2006, 05:49:19 PM »

Summary of January 16:

In general, this group of four was much weaker than last week's group.  There was only one standout performer and three others who just didn't cut it.

--First on the track was Tim Andrews, the crew chief's son.  His score was only 175, owing largely to a mistake between the first and second segments in not asking for an adjustment. :roll:   When he returned to the track, Andrews' lap times declined by about a second.  He did get changes between the second and third segments, but it was too late.
--Chuck Barnes was very nervous and had slow times in the first and second parts.  Mark Martin encouraged him to concentrate on his driving ability and that helped Barnes tremendously.  In the opposite of Andrews, Barnes increased his speeds by a second.  However, his overall score was still disappointing: 230.  It also didn't help that Barnes looked shy in his mock media and sponsor appearances.
--Jason Boyd, the "wild child" of the group, was next.  Roush Racing's Geoff Smith warned him that, because of his poor image (including wearing sunglasses when he was told not to and the HANS incident) that he would have to drive superior laps if he was to stay in the competition.  Boyd didn't, with his best times coming early in the session followed by steady declines.  By the end of his run, Boyd, who scored only 205, seemed resigned to his fate.
--David Ragan was the standout performer.  His score of 380, much better than that of the other drivers, came largely because of laps averaging a little more than 32 seconds.  He had the fastest evaluation lap (31.86 seconds) and the fastest practice lap, 32.02 seconds.  Roush officials were very impressed by his ability to adjust to the "track too tough to tame."

Not surprisingly, Ragan was the only driver to advance from the third and final group.  So that left six drivers for the next phase.  However, Jack Roush did have a surprise at the end of the show: three drivers were being brought back as "wild cards."

Next week: we find out who they are and watch the next round of the competition.  Oh, and on the preview reel we see another truck on the Darlington track at the same time as the familiar contest vehicle.  What could that mean?

P.S. The 12 finalists went go-kart racing during this round, and the cameras caught the action.  For the record, there was no winner: the drivers violated the "no bumping" rule so many times that the track manager ordered them all off the track.  The drivers said that they couldn't help it. :oops:
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Vivian
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« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2006, 09:28:01 PM »

I kind of enjoyed the 'show' last night.  It kind of irritates me that they sometimes come off as a 'reality show' though.  With all the remarks about surprises and what will happen next show.  I do like drama but the show is taking on a typical, IMO, tv series type show.  I think it would be better at this point if they cut some of the bells and whistles type hype and returned it to a real race type show.  JMO...

It did look like they might throw in some racing type competition between the drivers next time.
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sally
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« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2006, 10:17:04 PM »

Too bad they didn't end the series before the trucks tested at Daytona.  Kinda gave away the picks for those who didn't remember it from being printed earlier.

But I'm not going to give it away here if you didn't notice.

Sal
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