THE NEED FOR SPEED: I've been a car guy all my life. From the time I was just a little kid, all I ever wanted to do is be a race car driver. My father was big into restoring vehicles; my uncle built hotrods; and my brother raced stock cars in Pennsylvania. I was surrounded by enthusiasts, so I don't think it came as a surprise that the bug bit me. When the creators of the show "Pinks," a reality show that airs on the Speed Channel, were in the concept stage, they started poking around on several message boards devoted to race car devotees. Out of curiosity, I responded to an ad. At first I was reluctant, but after two weeks of back and forth on the phone, I started to get really revved up about the whole idea.
PROPER INCENTIVE: Before shooting begins, a driver signs over his or her vehicle to the show and then "Pinks" reassigns the title to your car, or "pink slip" -- hence the name of the show -- based on race results. When I agreed to do the show, I committed to go to the shoot, sign over the title of my vehicle and be ready to race. There was no compensation other than gas money and the possibility of winning the pink slips of those vehicles that I raced against -- which was all the incentive I needed. My team was also lucky enough to find sponsorships, which helped us turn our vehicles into racing machines.
ZERO TO SIXTY: Although I did street racing when I was younger, I don't condone it -- it's dangerous and against the law. On "Pinks," the viewer gets a real sense of what street racing is like but in a controlled environment. The race is a quarter-mile sprint, which is similar to the 100-meter dash for runners: If you blink, you might miss it. For my first race on the show, I rode a Yamaha motorcycle that's capable of low 10s to high 9s in the quarter mile.
UNDER THE HOOD: I really like old muscle cars. The 1960s marked the advent of street cars. They put big engines in smaller cars, and the cars were dubbed muscle cars. My favorite car is my Pontiac GTO. It has high horse power and is the best ride around. I guess I lead a kind of dual life. By day, Monday through Friday, I wear a suit and drive a company car, which is a Honda Accord, and at night and on the weekends I race cars.
WHEELER DEALERS: There's a negotiation that takes place before a race that's really important and telling about each racer. First, a racer either agrees to race the best two-out-of-three or three-out-of-five before getting behind the wheel. Once that is decided, then you haggle over a starting advantage, which is common in street racing. Let's say my car has a larger engine than yours. I might agree to give you a three car-length advantage. Then, after the first race, we renegotiate and continue this process until someone wins the appropriate number of races.
PEDAL TO THE METAL: My final race airs Tuesday at 8:30 p.m., and I face Tony Palermo, this guy from the South Side of Chicago who owns a race shop. He went online to the "Pinks" message board and started trash-talking me and my team. We agreed to go to Indianapolis and settle it on the set. I drove a '92 Mustang LX powered by a big Ford race motor, but if you want to know whether or not I won, you'll just have to tune in.
As told to Karen Hart