• Apr 20th 2007 at 10:07AM
  • 5
"Racing is perhaps the only sport where talent guarantees you nothing." That's how four-time Trans-Am champion Tommy Kendall introduces the new Speed TV series, Setup. He could just as well have been talking about any of the other racing "reality" shows that have preceded it. Setup is what Forza or Bullrun could have been: a straightforward examination of ten teams facing the pressure of winning a spot on the show and then working to tweak, fund and race their own Pontiac Solstice GXP, avoiding elimination through the end of the season. Think of it as a sort of America's Next Top Model for racers. The first episode aired Wednesday night and introduced us to the contestants and a few others who missed the cut. Pretty compelling stories throughout the group, and the producers wisely let the action unfold through watching and listening to the contestants..

Kendall hosts the reality series along with model/actress/racer/track rat Ashley Van Dyke. Tommy brings some star power and straight-shooting narrative, while Ashley adds much more than her pretty face, teaching the racers that winning isn't just about the driving. In the first show she brought potential sponsors into the garage to meet with drivers. And she helped us see which of the drivers could see the bigger picture and who was a spoiled little punk. Favorites and villains are already pretty obvious (we swear we wanted someone to slap some sense into that Ryan). While the premier focused mainly on driver introductions and the initial car setup, the series will also take us to the track as the racers try to earn their keep racing around Willow Springs. Over the course of the show, the ten drivers and their teams will be fighting for more than just bragging rights. The last racer standing gets $100,000, as well as a shot at a Pontiac factory ride in next year's 24 Hours of Daytona. The show airs Wednesday nights at 8 PM Eastern on Speed.

[Source: Speed TV]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Pol Pot Pie
      • 8 Years Ago
      So far, the makings of a great show. As suspected when I recognized the tech inspector, it's made by the guys at 'Built by Thugs' who made 'Build or Bust' which is another thoroughly enjoyable show
      • 8 Years Ago
      I was surprised that I liked it too. I just wish they'd explain Tommy Kendell a little more. I know he host's another Speed Channel show, and raced professionally before, but I really have no clue of his expertise otherwise.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I thought it would be another crappy show- but the first episode with the sponsor negotiations was interesting.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Speed seriously needs to find some new talent.

      Things I'd rather watch than Tommy Kendell:

      1) Paint dry.
      2) A Rosanne/Tom Arnold sex tape.
      3) An episode of "Will and Grace"....okay, maybe not that.

      I mean, the Speed F1 team is fantastic, how come they can't find more Bob Varshas?
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