R U FASTER THAN A REDNECK? to Premiere on SPEED, 2/22
You thought the Hatfields & McCoys hated each other? SPEED?'s new series, R U Faster than a Redneck? takes on one of the longest-standing rivalries in automotive lore - domestic versus import. And if history is any indication, it could get ugly out there.
The first eight episodes have been ordered, and the show is set to premiere Feb. 22 at 10 p.m. ET, following live coverage of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Daytona before settling into its regular time slot, Mondays at 9 p.m. ET.
From the producers of American Trucker, Hot Rod TV, Overhaulin' and Livin' the Low Life, R U Faster than a Redneck? is hosted by Last Comic Standing Season 5 winner Jon Reep. The show's unique format offers some of the country's best grassroots import racers an opportunity to take on equally-timed, high-performance American muscle. The show is shot at Carolina Motor Sports Park in Kershaw, S.C., with legendary NASCAR play-by-play announcer Ken Squier calling all the action alongside Reep.
"This program takes the stereotype of the classic Southern 'redneck' and turns it inside out," said Robert Ecker, SPEED? VP of Programming & Executive Producer. "These are multi-layered guys that hold their lifestyle near and dear, and that extends all the way to defending their beloved American muscle cars against all foreign makes and models. There's a lot of fun and hijinks along the way, but once cars hit the track, the competition is real; everyone is in it to win it."
At the core of the show is an almost timeless battle that has raged throughout the ages, affectionately referred to as 'rednecks' versus the 'punks.' In this format, the 'redneck' team puts up $10,000 against any import 'punk' that can defeat them and their souped-up vehicles.
"The concept goes all the way back to the early turn of the century in 1904, and an automotive event called the Vanderbilt Cup, which was (originally) held in Long Island, New York," said Bud Brutsman, Executive Producer. "They put up money to see how the American car companies would stack up against their European counterparts. We've put together a similar competition.
"The individuals out here are building and racing their own cars," Brutsman continued. "It's kind of USA versus the world. The good part about the show is we get to highlight both of them, and we have a forum that has Nissan GT-Rs, Lamborghinis, BMWs, etc. versus muscle cars with some serious horsepower like Chevrolet Camaros, Dodge Chargers and Ford Mustangs. It's an old rivalry that everyone wants to see."
Competition is broken into three rounds, starting with one-on-one qualifying races called the 'Import Roundup,' where the first two competitors who beat their 'redneck' contenders move into the semifinal.
After a 'strategy' session in which the rednecks select the three cars they want to offer up to their challengers, each import racer chooses the car he wants to race against to qualify for the final. When a semifinal winner is determined, the final race - against the redneck's 'Ass-Kicker' car - is for a shot at $10,000. That car, usually the fastest in the redneck's stable, may also have a surprise celebrity ringer inside it now and again.
"It's going to be a different show," Brutsman said. "The light-hearted humor we added in here is really about camaraderie among racers. These guys battle it out because they enjoy taking one car over another, and it doesn't matter if they have a Lamborghini or a Mustang, they are really the same guy at heart - they just like different things.
"They care about the cars, they're all adrenaline junkies and they all get along," Brutsman continued. "Jon Reep is a famous stand-up comedian - the guy who would say, 'Is that a Hemi in your car?' His comedic timing is amazing. We have some great material, too, with 'rednecks' and 'punks.' It's going to be a lot of fun - and there may be a celebrity driver or two along the way."
SPEED, anchored by its popular and wide-ranging coverage of NASCAR, is the nation's first and only cable television network dedicated to automotive and motorcycle racing, performance and lifestyle. Now available in nearly 86 million homes in North America, SPEED?, a member of the FOX Sports Media Group, is among the industry leaders in interactive TV, video on demand, mobile initiatives and broadband services, including SPEED?2, a groundbreaking new broadband network featuring live, streaming and on-demand events complementing offerings of the linear network. For more information, please visit SPEED.com, the online motor sports authority and follow us on Twitter: @SPEED.