Dave Despain has spent his entire career interviewing racing folks. Now he is embarking on the latest chapter in his career, a new show on MAVTV.
“The Dave Despain Show,” debuts on April 25 at 8 p.m. Despain recently sat down with SPEED SPORT and discussed the new show, his career and the racing world in general.
Our Q&A with Despain will be presented in two parts. Part two will be published tomorrow.
Q: What should viewers expect from this new show?
A: In-depth conversation with big-name racers. We have a very simple approach. We sit down and have a very long conversation with our guest and edit that down to the most revealing, interesting and entertaining 30 minutes. We started with no pre-conceived expectations of what the guest list would be and we have been blessed to have come up with some very terrific names, a lot of legends in the sport — Dan Gurney, Bobby Unser, Parnelli Jones and top names from a lot of disciplines. Scott Bloomquist and Jimmy Owens from the late model world; Kenny Roberts and Jeremy McGrath, a couple of motorcycle legends; Antron Brown from Top Fuel drag racing; the list goes on and on. We have been very fortunate to have a great list of guests and our goal is just to give people a look at who these people really are.
Q: Do you look at this show as a new challenge in your motorsports career?
A: In a way it is a culmination of everything that I have been able to do in 35 years in this business. I have covered a lot of different kinds of racing. There has always been an interview component in almost everything that I have done. I have worked on my interviewing skills and now I get to put them to use.
The fact that I have covered a lot of different types of racing, gives me a working knowledge to know that no matter what discipline the guest comes from, I know enough to have a reasonable conversation. It is a challenge in the sense that most of the interviewing I have done has either been in a live format. It has been in and out and not a lot of time. The opportunity to have a long, in-depth conversation on camera is something new. It is a new challenge, but it is great fun. It is like taking the shackles off and you can go wherever you want to go. It is a lot of fun.
Q: Has social media changed the way you prepare for an interview?
A: Not as much as it has changed a lot of other things. I am still the basic old-school, home work kind of guy. I look at the guy’s resume and think about what that means and what it took to achieve those things. I am not as social media savvy as I probably should be, but I am 67 years old, so I have an excuse. I do try to pay attention to what other people are talking about. The thing that doesn’t change is that I am standing in for the viewer and my job is to ask the questions the viewer wants to hear the answers to. You kind of have to know what the viewer is thinking to do that.