Editorial: Start your engines...

Nice to see pair of local residents part of new TV series
Feb. 25, 2013 @ 12:27 AM

In a time when reality shows are so popular, when networks can make one far cheaper than a scripted show, when almost any idea for a reality show seems to make it to production, along come two local guys who may have found their niche among this crowded TV landscape.

A new show that premiered last Friday on the SPEED network asks, “R U Faster Than a Redneck.” A pair of local car enthusiasts are part of the cast that tries to prove the answer is no.

Bill Howell and Yancy Johns are owners of the American Street Car Series, where they join other drivers in racing custom-built muscle cars. So when the SPEED Network decided to make a show that pits drivers of custom-built American cars — the “rednecks’ — vs. drivers of custom built imports — the “punks” — Howell and Johns got calls to join the Redneck team.

“There’s an event where we do some racing called Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational, and through that I got to know these producers and they knew I lived here and could gather up a group of rednecks so that’s how we got involved,” Howell said.

For these purposes, the “rednecks” are guys who are older then 35 and like to build and race American muscle cars. They’ll be pitted against drivers in imported cars; it’s a concept that was irresistible to Johns. “Everybody’s always wanted to see American race cars versus imports and that’s what it was,” Johns said. “All of us were very excited about doing it.

The show will be seen at 9 p.m. Mondays. All eight episodes have already been filmed. You ought to give it a spin. Local residents on a cable network TV show is quite an achievement, even if it seems sometimes as if everybody has a television program. It sounds like fun.