Sneak Peek at 'NASCAR Decades' on NBCSN
NASCAR Decades is a multi-part series that celebrates the unique culture, moments and characters of a specific decade. Tune in to the following upcoming episodes on NBCSN: 1970s -June 29 – 9:00pm ET 1980s - July 7 – 11:00pm ET
NASCAR Illustrated : Jeff Gordon tribute
Sports Illustrated looks back at some of Jeff Gordon's moments and pays a special thanks to his greatness, along with all that he means to NASCAR .
NASCAR Illustrated spotlights James Bickford
NASCAR Illustrated's Steven Levine sits down with NASCAR Next driver James Bickford to discuss his budding career.
NASCAR Illustrated : Marty Robbins, the racer
NASCAR legends reminisce with NASCAR Illustrated about the racing career and character of country music singer Marty Robbins.
Harvick shows new ride to NASCAR Illustrated
NASCAR Illustrated's Steven Levine chats with Kevin Harvick about bringing back an iconic paint scheme to NASCAR .
NASCAR Illustrated : Childress Vineyards
NASCAR Illustrated's Steven Levine meets up with Richard Childress and explores the legendary NASCAR team owner’s passion for wine.
NASCAR Illustrated : Bowyer’s helmet collection
Clint Bowyer shows off his impressive custom helmet collection to NASCAR Illustrated .
NASCAR Illustrated : Beer Haven
NASCAR Illustrated takes you around Beer Haven as they stop at Charlotte Motor Speedway to promote local breweries in and around Charlotte, NC.
NASCAR Illustrated - Rescue Ranch Tour
NASCAR Illustrated's Steven Levine meets up with Krissie and Ryan Newman to learn about all of the initiatives at their Rescue Ranch.
NASCAR Illustrated : Women In Broadcasting Roundtable
Sitting down with the women of FS1 "It's sort of a double-edged sword. A lot of times you get doors opened because you're a female, but you have to try extra hard to keep that door open." That was Krista Voda of NBC Sports in a 2005 NI feature on women broadcasters in NASCAR . Has anything changed? To find out, NI Senior Producer Steven Levine sat down with FOX Sports broadcasters Danielle Trotta, Kaitlyn Vincie and Jamie Little. NI: Is being a voice for the female fan something you're conscious of in what, let's face it, has been historically a male-dominated sport? Danielle Trotta: We certainly stand out, if you will, in a world amongst men — and certainly an industry amongst men. I don't necessarily think I cater my message specifically toward a female audience. My job is to inform and entertain whoever is watching. I certainly try to mentor young women that want to be in this business. That’s a great way to give back to other women and young girls that want to be us one day and take our jobs. "You can take my job eventually, but not right now. You need to have your training wheels on." I don't like it when people think we're just here because we're a pretty face, or we're a girl that can put the dress on and that's our only value. That's really degrading. Our job is to be just as informed and prepared as our male counterparts. At the end of the day, if we can put lipstick on and have some fun with it and be girls in a man's world at the same time, that’s great, but I think we have just as much value and every right to be here as they do. NI: It's interesting to hear you say that because you’ve also worked in football and if there is a man's world to perhaps rival NASCAR , football is it. Did you find fans or co-workers more receptive in NASCAR versus football? Trotta: I feel like I came into the business as Erin Andrews was getting her start. The female sideline reporter was becoming extremely popular. The industry became, I think, oversaturated. At that time, we saw it as: Put the token pretty girl on the sideline. I grew up watching football at a time when it was always men on the sideline, and then Suzy Kolber, Michele Tafoya and Hannah Storm started to change some of that. Then they kind of went younger with the Erin Andrews of the world. For a while, I didn’t know if I wanted to have that stigma attached to myself, but now I find that it's a sorority I'm really proud to be a part of. The industry is moving away from just sticking anyone down there. (They're) having women that have a strong opinion, a strong voice that can hold their own in a man's world. We're becoming more valued. It's due to a lot of the women who have worked really hard to get here and earn their place. You have to hold your own in a man's world. NI: Kaitlyn, who did you watch as you were coming up? Kaitlyn Vincie: (Gestures to Trotta and Little.) Of course, Krista Voda and Wendy Venturini, as well. In college, I was studying gender communications and I did a project for my course on women in a male-dominated industry, and both of them were in my PowerPoint. I looked toward both of them and some of the other women that I listed as the people I wanted to be like and wanted to mirror. It's really kind of an honor and a privilege to be working alongside them. NI: Jamie, there was a time when you and Shannon Spake were working side by side on pit road. At the 2015 Daytona 500 , you were the only woman represented on the broadcast. Is that just fluctuation, or are we taking three steps forward and two steps back? How do you assess the role of women on NASCAR broadcasts these days? Jamie Little: I think we're in the best place we've ever been. Like Danielle alluded to, it's not just that we're down there because we need a female face. We're down there because we need the best reporters in that role, and I think that’s what you see. You might see three women and one man, or you might see all four men. It just depends on who is the best, who your bosses feel are the best at the time and that’s a great place to be. Personally, Shannon Spake and I couldn’t have been closer friends, but I like being the only female. I don’t see myself as a female down there and I don’t see myself as one of the guys. I just want to be a good reporter and I want people to look at me that way. So when that opportunity (to work in motocross broadcasting), way back when I was 18, opened up and there wasn’t a woman — like Kaitlyn had females to look up to and learn from — I saw it as an opportunity. From that day on, I never saw myself as one female here. I saw it as I’m here just like the men and I have a right to be. Trotta: It's kind of like Danica Patrick . She wants to be known as just another race car driver, not a female race car driver. Little: Yet she embraces her femininity so well. I wasn’t always OK with dressing up or wearing the heels. I didn’t want to be portrayed that way. I wanted to be taken so seriously and it’s taken me a long time. I always wanted to fit in with the guys and didn’t want to stand out, and it’s OK to be that way now. Trotta: It is interesting that Danica kind of embraces it. It’s true, we have to find that balance too. NI: Do you get tired of being asked the gender question? All: No. Trotta: I don’t think we’re past the conversation, but I certainly think, like Jamie said, we’re in the best place we’ve ever been. It’s certainly evolving, and if you don’t have this conversation, I don’t think it ever gets better. Hopefully, girls will be reading this and thinking, “OK, if they did it, I can do it.” NI: How about beyond NASCAR ? Kaitlyn, do you have any professional aspirations beyond motorsports? Vincie: I'm just happy with what I’m doing. I haven’t really thought about what’s next because I’m so busy with what’s now. Little: I always duck that question, too — "OK, when are you going to football?" I'm not. I don't want to do football. This is my goal. SUBSCRIBE NOW!
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