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"Ricky Carmichael: Next", a reality TV show

It looks like it will be a great show and just what the doctor ordered for all of us RC fans!


TUNE IN: Saturday June 14th, 6:30 PM (EST) on Speed TV



By Eric Johnson

“I’m doing this because a lot of people say it can’t be done,” says Ricky Carmichael on his unwavering drive to enter a new era of motor sports greatness.

On Saturday June 14, 2008 at 6:30 P.M. (Eastern Standard Time), Speed TV will air the new reality TV show “Ricky Carmichael: NEXT” based on the real life exploits of motocross legend Ricky Carmichael and his quest to leave his mark in the astonishingly competitive form of motorsport known as NASCAR. The show will also re-air on Sunday, June 28, 2008 at 12:30 A.M. (Eastern Standard Time).

Brought to life by award-wining producer Paul Taublieb of MXi and Monster Enegy as part of Monster’s new initiative to create consumer content, and produced in association with highly-respected veteran NASCAR TV producer Pam Miller, “Ricky Carmichael: NEXT” provides unprecedented and unfettered access into the life and times of Ricky Carmichael. Taking fans where they have never gone before, NEXT delivers viewers right into the Tallahassee, Florida home of Ricky Carmichael and provides an unabashed look at what he and his family go through as the 15-time champion and undisputed greatest motocross racer of all-time leaves his epic high flying career behind in an unflinching effort to make it at all costs in the asphalt jungle that is the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing.

“I think it’s going to be something great for the fans,” avers Carmichael of the show that allows the normally private and reserved athlete deep inside his private life and shows the wide range of emotions of feelings his wife, mother, father and close friends share about his newfound four-wheel career. “While racing motocross, everyone thought I was so serious and just a total motohead, but NEXT shows a neat side of me. It shows me being relaxed. It shows what goes on besides just the racing side of my life. It also shows me making the transition from motocross to car racing. I wanted to do the show and when the time came and Joe Parsons of Monster, along with Paul Taublieb, asked me if I wanted to do it, I said, ‘yes!’ I want people to see how I am. I’m excited about the show. Fans will be able to see how much fun I have, but also how serious I am about making it in car racing.”

As the driver of the Monster Energy-backed Chevrolet Monte Carlo, NEXT follows Carmichael as he begins the 2008 Camping World East NASCR Series. A member of a high-profile Ken Schrader Racing team — owned and operated by NASCAR Schrader a Sprint Cup racing — Carmichael’s season starts off with a very encouraging top five finish, but then due to some bad luck and bent and twisted sheet metal at round two in Iowa, quickly goes sideways. Then, two weeks later, at South Boston Speedway in Virginia, Carmichael experiences the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. The weekend begins on a huge high when Carmichael captures his first career pole with a lap at 89.759 miles per hour.

“It felt as great as anything I had ever done on a motorcycle,” smiles Carmichael. “It was a feeling I had not had in a long time. I couldn’t believe it. I did not think I was ready for a pole.”

Then comes the emotional wall, hit both literally and figuratively — when Carmichael is the victim of a late race crash. And it is the emotional ups and downs captured in Next that show how radically different auto racing can be from the remarkably athletic motorsport of motocross.

“Absolutely,” he answers when asked if not being in control of his own fate can be frustrating. “When I raced supercross, I’d fly right home and get right back on the bike that Monday and work at what I sucked at. In the stock car, you can be on top of the world and running in eighth place with 25 laps to go and then end up in a collision that wasn’t your fault and with a car that is all torn up. It can be 'boom' and your slammed in the wall. That’s the hardest thing for me to swallow right now.”

And it is not just Carmichael the Next cameras focus on. Both intrigued and curious as to how the finest rider ever to leap over dirt obstacles as big as small office towers and race 40 minutes straight in 90-degree heat and 90% humidity fares on circular patches of asphalt and concrete, NASCAR drivers and major garage personalities such as Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, Joe Gibbs, Mark Martin, Ken Schrader and Dave Despain all weigh-in on Ricky’s progress.

“Motocross was always for me,” declares Carmichael of his great adventure. “It was a sport I started doing when I was five years old. I was supposed to turn pro and do good and accomplish a lot. Car racing was not supposed to be for me. It was never in the books for me. That’s why I want to do this so badly. It’s something that was not in the books for me. It’s a great challenge. If I could get to [Sprint] Cup and be competitive, it would be a great, great, great life accomplishment. I’d be so proud. In fact I’d be as proud of it as much as anything I have ever done in motorcycle racing. I want to make it. It’s hard, but I’m not going to give up.”

Demonstrating that his roots are still planted firmly in dirt, NEXT also features a segment on Ricky Carmichael officially breaking the world record for step up with a 36-foot leap off a jump built by Jessie Olsen.

“Step up is something I always wanted to do,” says Carmichael. “When I saw it in the X Games, I knew I wanted to do it. It’s so much fun for me. I’m not bothered to go high. I did similar stuff on my minibikes when I was little. I’d go straight up and come back down and try and land on the footpegs and keep my balance. That feeling is very familiar to me.”

And of breaking the world record with a mind-boggling leap of 36 feet?

“You go so high,” he laughs. “In fact the higher you go, the less forward momentum you gain. Basically, you fall from the sky. When I set the world record at 36-feet, I think I could have gone even higher, but what happened is that I just came straight down. No matter what, it was a real thrill to break the record.”

Want to see more as Ricky Carmichael forges forward, determined to “make it” in NASCAR, as well as his world record in Step UP? Tune into Speed for Next on Friday, June 14, 2008 at 6:30 P.M. Ricky Carmichael pieced together the greatest single motocross career in history with a will of iron and a spirit of determination that bordered on demonic. NEXT will show you how just how far these attributes can Carmichael in an automobile.

“Ricky Carmichael: NEXT” is a production of Monster Energy in association with Paul Taublieb and Media X International, Inc, and producer Pam Miller of Innovative Images. Executive Producers Mark Hall, Joe Parsons and Sam Pontrelli.
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