veteran motor sports analyst Rutledge Wood.James Stack/NBC
Rutledge Wood and his bushy beard that appears to under no circumstances alter as he ages are recognized across America — possibly even about the globe — as a dynamic duo. The often cheerful automobile guru is back with a new show, his very first on NBC, and he’s prepared for what could be his most significant gig however.
Unsurprising, when discussing Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge, Wood is as entertaining as a single who’s watched him develop in the motor sports realm for almost two decades would count on. The surprising aspect of this conversation wasn’t Wood’s enthusiasm, but it was that he choked up though discussing the show, which debuts on May possibly 30.
“I had no notion how emotional a show like this could be,” Wood, 43, mentioned. “The quantity of occasions that I saw folks cry or that I cried was way larger than I could’ve guessed for a show primarily based on a toy or a automobile. It is a single of the items that tends to make it specific.”
The new ten-episode Hot Wheels show puts toy automobile collectors to the test with a genuine-life version of the toys they grew up loving. The “superfans,” as they’re coined in the show, will make their personal decked out automobiles. To judge the winner among two contestants in every single episode, there will be a rotation of celebrity guest judges, which includes Anthony Anderson, WWE Superstar Massive E, Terry Crews, Sung Kang, Jay Leno and Joel McHale.
“Car pool” members will support turn about every single contestant’s notion and make it a reality. The winner of every single episode will get $25,000.
“This combines my two loves, which are folks and automobiles,” Wood mentioned. “There’s way far more techniques to connect us by way of items that are equivalent than items that are various. I get to use my automobile information and my appreciate of motor sports there.
“The superfans who are on the show and the automobile poolers are taking all of their expertise and talents that they’ve worked on their entire lives and placing it into this time capsule for an individual else. The automobiles are so representative of the transformations these superfans have had in their personal lives, with the way they’ve overcome adversity to stick to their hearts and passions.”
For Wood, this show is an chance to combine his passion of automobiles, motor sports and appreciate of bringing folks collectively. This show could serve as a increase for NBC as it picks up the second half of the Nascar season, beginning on June 25 with the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway, on top rated of its continuing coverage of the NTT IndyCar Series. This weekend, it is dwelling to the Indianapolis 500.
“I hope this show reminds everyone that they’re all connected,” Wood mentioned. “Ultimately, it is a car that is racing and it is as technologically sophisticated as it could possibly be, but it began as the very same issue. That is why makers are nonetheless competing the way they are. Somebody who’s operating on the show mentioned, ‘This is the type of issue that will get youngsters excited about driving once more.’”
Wheels: Ultimate Challenge at The Zimmerman Automobile Driving Museum. (Photo by Andrew J Cunningham/Getty Photos)Getty Photos
At the finish of the season, Leno, an avid automobile collector himself, will support Wood make a decision whose automobile design and style from the complete season — among 3 finalists — will be turned into an actual Hot Wheels die cast automobile. Ted Wu, worldwide head of design and style for Mattel’sMAT Cars division, will also seem in the season finale to clarify the approach of building a Hot Wheels automobile.
“This is the culmination of all the items I’ve ever completed,” Wood mentioned. “I didn’t know if I could be a judge or a host, and it turns out I got to be each.”
And Wood is not the only a single who is thrilled about the show.
“This is astounding,” Crews mentioned. “Being a element of one thing like this — turning living automobiles and turning them into a Hot Wheels — this show is so emotional. To function a show that has the automobile as the star, it is a brilliant notion.”
Now, Wood’s life has come complete circle. He recalled how when he got his license soon after his road test, he drove about Peachtree City, GA. for nine hours. He desires to bring that appreciate of automobiles and driving to everybody. Possibly, there will be new motor sports fans mainly because of it.
“I’ve loved automobiles each single day,” he mentioned.
Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge debuts on May possibly 30.
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I am a contributor for Forbes’ SportsMoney, focusing on telling the untold stories inside of Nascar. Upon graduating from Stony Brook University, I departed for Tel Aviv, operating at an Israeli Television station prior to becoming a newspaper editor in New York. My bylines variety from nearby news to sports, Israeli politics and far more. I am the author of two children’s books, which includes Grandma: The Story of a Boy and His Grandma. Head more than to my Twitter web page @JoeWolkin.
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