By Natalie Finn
If you’re a NASCAR driver, you want to end every race on Victory Lane. If you’re a NASCAR fan, you want to know what it feels like to party on Victory Lane. Watching Speed’s “NASCAR Victory Lane” post-race show, you’re all but there, minus being sprayed with champagne and an impromptu climb up the flagpole.
“NASCAR Victory Lane” is televised after Nextel Cup Series races. After a driver wins a race, he turns off the track and onto the crowded Victory Lane. It is there that hosts John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace set up shop to get the scoop for Speed. (Unless Mr. Wallace was driving in the race — then Mr. Roberts and Mr. Spencer start without him and he joins them later, still suited up in his racing gear.)
Alongside interviews with the winning driver and crew chief, the Speed team provides in-depth post-race analysis, “from the green flag to the checkered flag,” and highlights of the day’s events. But despite the formula, you never really know what’s going to happen.
“You can’t script what happens in Victory Lane,” said Chris Long, Speed’s VP of studio production. “We get sprayed with champagne, people are laughing, owners come over and sit on Jimmy Spencer’s lap. … They’re there for an hour getting the sights and sounds of what’s going on in Victory Lane each week and there’s an energy there that you can’t quantify.”