The following is an excerpt from an article on SceneDaily.com:
Jeff Gluck: Behind the scenes with Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and the world of WWE
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Two of NASCAR’s most unflappable drivers were nervous, butterflies filling their stomachs and the anxiety of speaking to more than 16,000 screaming fans – and millions watching at home – weighing on their minds.
Kyle Busch and Joey Logano sat in a small locker room at the end of a hallway in the bowels of Buffalo’s HSBC Arena, just a couple doors down from the spacious clubhouse of the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres.
Each had a script in their hands with passages marked in yellow highlighter, signifying their roles in World Wrestling Entertainment’s “Raw” show, of which they were preparing to guest-host.
The 19-year-old Logano suddenly looked up from the packet of paper in his hand.
“There’s like six pages of lines,” he said to Busch. “You gonna be able to remember all that?”
“No way,” Busch replied. “You?”
There seemed to be little optimism in the room that the show, which draws ratings comparable to or higher than most NASCAR races, would go well for the drivers. But the Joe Gibbs Racing teammates pressed forward, intent on embracing their jobs for the evening.
As part of an upcoming promotion at the Texas Nationwide Series race, Busch will run a car with “Raw” on the hood and Logano’s car will feature the rival WWE program “Smackdown!” It’s all designed to call attention to the release of a new wrestling video game called “WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw” (Gamestop is Logano’s Nationwide sponsor).
In keeping with the theme of the game, and wrestling tradition, the WWE writers split the drivers into good guy/bad guy roles. Busch, who has often been seen as NASCAR’s villain in the eyes of many fans, was appropriately assigned the bad guy role.
Still, there was the matter of how exactly to pull it off. Logano, when first given a draft of the script, had seen the amount he needed to memorize and said, “This is going to be an issue.”
“I can’t even remember my lines from a commercial when I have to say, ‘Whoa,’” he joked, referring to his oft-played ad for Sprint Cup sponsor The Home Depot.
Check out the complete article at this link.
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