NASCAR: Who’s behind JR Motorsports’ success? This guy (VIDEO)

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Remember JR Motorsports public relations man Tyler Overstreet (pictured, right)?

Earlier this spring, Overstreet was at the center of a prank perpetrated by part-time JRM Nationwide Series driver Kevin Harvick, team communications director Mike Davis, and NASCAR pit reporter Matt Yocum.

The prank involved Yocum doing an interview with Harvick, only to be told not to do so by his “boss” – actually, Davis – on the grounds that it would be a conflict of interest.

Overstreet had to take the role of interviewer, but he was given a fake list of questions that centered around team sponsor Hunt Brothers Pizza. You can probably figure out how that went.

But it would appear that Overstreet has gained a fair bit of respect since the prank. As this fresh clip above from JRM details, their drivers in both Nationwide and Late Models have been doing a lot of winning since he came on board.

And that has everyone in the JRM shop extolling the virtues of Overstreet and helping to create his “legend.”

“Tyler can belch the alphabet in Spanish,” Harvick proclaims.

“Tyler doesn’t wear shades – he tells the sun when to shine,” fellow JRM part-timer Kasey Kahne enthuses.

“Tyler donates his hair to make sweaters for sheep,” says JRM’s Late Model pilot, Josh Berry.

Indeed, the legend of Tyler Overstreet is growing. And should JRM continue its winning ways and emerge with a Nationwide Series championship in 2014, we’re betting that legend will grow into something quite formidable.

IndyCar star Scott Dixon to test skills on ‘American Ninja Warrior’

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Scott Dixon will be the latest IndyCar driver to enter the realm of reality TV when he auditions in Indianapolis next week for “American Ninja Warrior.”

The four-time IndyCar champion, nicknamed “The Iceman,” thought it sounded fun when he was approached with the idea of trying out. As the competition has drawn near, Dixon is wondering what he got himself into.

“I feel a lot of pressure on this one,” Dixon told The Associated Press before heading to this weekend’s Honda Grand Prix of Alabama IndyCar race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. “When it got to be about a month away, I figured I should start training for it, and it’s pretty hard stuff.”

IndyCar drivers Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden and Tony Kanaan all auditioned for the show, which follows competitors as they tackle a series of obstacle courses in qualifying rounds across the country. None of IndyCar’s contestants advanced out of the first round and neither did NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Dixon’s appearance comes about the same time the Game Show Network has Sebastien Bourdais as a guest host for “Daily Draw” for the entire week leading into the month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Most recently, Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly teamed to finish fourth on “The Amazing Race,” and James Hinchcliffe was a runner-up last year on “Dancing With The Stars.” Castroneves is a former “DWTS” winner.

Dixon, the 2008 winner of the Indianapolis 500 who ranks fourth on IndyCar’s all-time wins list, is accustomed to success. But the New Zealander not so sure he’s going to become the next great ninja. Most of his fitness work focuses on endurance training, and preparing for the obstacle course has taken Dixon out of his element.

“It’s not my wheelhouse,” he said. “This is agility kind of stuff and I’m looking forward to the process. I’m not looking forward so much to the failure, because it’s going to happen at some point, so I guess I just have to make the most of it and enjoy the experience.”

Dixon was famously robbed at gunpoint in the drive-thru of a Taco Bell last year hours after he won the pole for the Indy 500. Asked if his ninja training will have him better prepared should that happen again, he did not think so.

“I suppose if I run away it would help,” Dixon said. “But I don’t exactly have a ninja toolkit to get me through that situation.”