Local Product and ESPN NASCAR Expert Nicole Briscoe (exclusive)

The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup opener is at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet on Sunday, Sept. 15 (1 p.m. CDT, ESPN).

A native of Roscoe, Illinois, and former Miss Illinois Teen USA, Nicole Briscoe, previously known as Nicole Manske, and today sometimes known as Nicole Manske Briscoe got a lot of national media coverage when she started co-hosting The Speed Report on Speed Channel as well as hosting NASCAR Now on ESPN2. She also hosts NASCAR Countdown that airs on ESPN before NASCAR races.

In part one of my exclusive with ESPN NASCAR reporter Nicole Briscoe, we discussed Danica Patrick, who like Briscoe attended Hononegah Community High School in Rockton IL. Danica was a cheerleader on the JV while Nicole Briscoe was on the varsity squad. Briscoe was a couple years ahead in school, and they weren’t close, but they did know each other. In December of 2009, Nicole married her boyfriend of 4 years, IndyCar series driver Ryan Briscoe.

In  part two of this interview, where she gets rather critical of her beloved Green Bay Packers. Even Chicago Bears fans will enjoy that link!

I caught up to Nicole Briscoe at NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup Media Day, right before the top 12 drivers will took part in ‘NASCAR Contenders Live’ — a fan Q&A event held at the Grand Ballroom of Navy Pier. At the event, hosted by Nicole Briscoe (see picture in gallery) the drivers discussed the most competitive time of the season, The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

At the start of this interview Nicole Briscoe ironically told me she was really nervous about public speaking. We talked right before she hosted NASCAR Contenders Live, and expressed his uneasiness. “I’m used to talking into a camera; with just three or four people around me,” Briscoe said.

She expressed the same sentiment on Twitter right before going on stage.

In the final installment of this interview, we discuss media, social media and coming back to Chicago.

Nicole Briscoe on doing Contenders Live: “I walked on set yesterday and it’s a big stage, and the ballroom seats about a thousand people, so I’m kind of nervous because that’s new to me, and they’ve had all week to prepare, so it should be fun and there are a few major things going on in the sport right now, so we have to address that, but I want it to be more of a fun environment, because it’s not about them.”

Briscoe on the penalties, controversies, Chase Cup shake-up etc. that has dominated NASCAR news all week/weekend:

“I have to walk a very fine line, because I’m not on the SportsCenter set, it’s not that kind of forum. Yes it’s the big elephant in the room, and it needs to be talked about, but I’m going to kind of play along with everyone."

Paul M. Banks: when you have an environment like this, fan interactive, it’s kind of like Twitter or an internet message board, where anything goes, what have you experienced in the past, among “memorable” fan interaction?

Nicole Briscoe: You always have those few assholes, who get real brave behind a keyboard. I think unfortunately it gives the social media side of it a bad name, but the nice thing is when you go to the track and see someone, and they’re like “hey, I’m Joe123,” and it’s someone you talk to all the time. So you get a chance to meet them, and that part of it is nice, and there’s an outpouring of comments and conversation, so I’m kind of hoping that’s what today is like. Very low-key, relaxed, not super uptight.”

Banks: tell me about coming home?

Briscoe: “I love it. I actually spent the night with my parents the last two nights. And I haven’t been to do that for a really long time. So it’s nice to see some family and catch up, along with work. You don’t get those opportunities all that often.”

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An analyst for 95.7 The Fan and 1620 The Zone, he also writes for Chicago Now. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and Facebook

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