?BEHIND THE WHEEL
On May 14, FX debuts NASCAR Drivers: 360, an hourlong weekly series that follows the personal and professional lives of some of the sport's biggest names. While many programs promise unfettered access to athletes, this show actually delivers the goods. The premiere features genuinely tender and awkward moments in the households of drivers Kevin Harvick, Kenny Wallace and Rusty Wallace. (Ten drivers, including Dale Earnhardt Jr., are featured during the show's eight-week run.) There's comic relief, too, when Harvick, an occasional hothead who is nonetheless nicknamed Happy, cleans up his dog's poo by tossing it into his neighbor's yard. At the track, cameras are allowed into normally sacrosanct team meetings, and viewers can eavesdrop on conversations between the drivers and crews during a race. But the program's greatest strength is that it reminds us that the drivers aren't risking their lives just to satisfy a need for speed—they're trying to make a living. When Kenny Wallace learns he might not be able to drive in a Busch series race due to a technicality, he laments, " NASCAR says don't take it personally. But it is personal because it's my paycheck that feeds my kids."
Dick Enberg, who was the voice of Wimbledon and the French Open for nearly a quarter of a century until his stint at NBC came to an end in 1999, has been hired by ESPN to work those two Grand Slam events. (He will also work the U.S. Open for CBS, as he has since 2000, and the Australian Open for ESPN.) "It's nice to get a second chance," Enberg, 69, says. "But I think the happiest person is my wife because while I'm working, she's going to get a two-week holiday in two of the greatest cities in the world."