NASCAR Race Hub, “Shannon Spokes” Mark Year of Surprises
This extended Q&A is the latest in a continuing series with FOX Sports personalities to be highlighted over the next several months. To learn more about FOX Sports NASCAR Race Hub host & multi-sport sideline reporter Shannon Spake or to download photography, please visit http://foxs.pt/2sLm9Jx, and follow her on Twitter at @ShannonSpake.
FOX SPORTS: Yesterday marked one year since the official announcement you were joining FOX Sports – Biggest takeaway after year-one on the job? Biggest item still on your to-do list and why?
SPAKE: “There is no doubt that having the opportunity to cover the Pearl Harbor Invitational on the 75th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor was the biggest moment of my career over the last 12 months. I interviewed some of the most powerful men in our country, stood courtside as a 97-year-old World War II veteran played the national anthem on his harmonica and was able to tell my 92-year-old grandfather, a WWII veteran, live on air that I was bringing him a coin I received from the General of the Army Pacific. I still get emotional thinking about the enormity of that moment.
“As far as my “to-do” list, I am adding FOX Sports NFL sideline reporter to my resume this fall and I am really excited about the opportunity to cover professional football.”
FOX SPORTS: Earlier this year, you took over the co-hosting role for well-established NASCAR Race Hub – any surprises in taking on full-time hosting duties? What have the rewards been?
SPAKE: “Every day is a reward! Everyone that works on Hub is so supportive, patient and talented. I look forward to going to work every single day. The creativity and talent flowing in that building is amazing, and I am always amazed at our lineup of guest analysts. I’ve never been a part of a show that has so much access to the biggest stars in the sport on a daily basis.”
FOX SPORTS: You and co-host Adam Alexander seemed to have clicked immediately. How important is that elusive chemistry to the success of the program?
SPAKE: “Chemistry is everything. I tried to spend as much time as possible with Adam during my first few weeks. We have even moved into the same office space because we thought it was important to spend time before and after the show with each other building that chemistry. Adam is so talented and has taught me so much about the ‘studio world’ and his patience has been so crucial to my comfort and growth in such a short period of time.”
FOX SPORTS: You are “Shannon Spokes” in the new animated movie, Cars 3 – has it sunk in just how big a deal that is?
SPAKE: “It’s crazy because until I actually heard my voice in the movie preview, I didn’t believe it was real. It was such a fun process and such an honor to represent the female reporter in the movie. Plus, I have earned major ‘cool points’ with my 7-year-old twins and their friends.”
FOX SPORTS: You seem to have found some level of work-life balance with your career, your family and your health – what has been the key to finding that balance and does it remain a daily focus?
SPAKE: “I have always said, ‘If you want it all, you have to do it all,’ and some days I feel like I do ‘all’ and more. I have a great support system and my husband certainly deals with a lot, but somehow we make it work. I have learned to eliminate things that don’t make me happy or don’t bring a positive vibe to my family unit. I also know that it’s ok if I don’t get everything done today — sometimes grocery shopping can wait ‘til tomorrow.”
FOX SPORTS: If you could work one sporting event you haven’t already done, which one would it be and why?
SPAKE: “Swimming in the Olympics. No question. I was a swimmer growing up and my father was an All-American swimmer in college. I would love to be there to see the speed and power those athletes have in the pool.”
Editor’s note: Accompanying photo is of NASCAR Race Hub co-hosts Shannon Spake and Adam Alexander. The most-watched NASCAR news and information on television, NASCAR Race Hub airs nightly Monday thru Thursday at 6:00 PM ET, with additional weekend editions as scheduled.