Friday, August 21, 2015

Candice Smith: Creator, Writer, Editor, At-track Media, On-Air Personality

My teaching life and my parenting life are only a couple of aspects of who Candice Smith is. They are important to who I am and how I have come to be Me, but there are other parts, too.

In 2007 I started blogging at a now defunct NASCAR social media site called I dusted off my NASCAR fandom that I had abandoned after Dale Earnhardt died in 2001 and started to pursue a passion - writing. I wrote under the pen name Chief 187.

Quickly I found I had a following - people liked what I had to write and how I was writing it.

In 2010 I started my own personal blog, monetized it, and found an International audience that was loyal and supportive of my daily musings. That is called Chief 187™Chatter.  

It took nearly a year but I trademarked Chief 187™ to make sure I would own the name I had worked so hard to brand.

2011  found me being courted by an Internet radio station that was new and offering an exciting blend of sports programming and music on air and a need for fresh and original content for its website. I took the job and threw myself into writing even more.

Again my readership grew.

That job at with station owner Tony Arnold led to on-air work as the NASCAR correspondent weekly. Eventually I was asked to do the entire weekly two hour show and discuss sports of all kinds.

A sister station to - - heard my on-air reports and asked me to join not one but two of their radio programs.

I was on the air three times per week to talk about NASCAR, stick and ball sports, and music!

An all-female Motorsports website "magazine" called Skirts and Scuffs hired me to write a column I entitled, "Why I Love NASCAR: By Chief 187™.  

By 2012 I had pitched an idea to about starting my own Motorsports radio program and they were most interested. I assembled a panel with Keith Hayes from the Boston area and a gentleman from North Carolina, a former racer and a great radio man, named Ronnie "Crate" Payne. Later that spring I added Gray Warren, a NASCAR veteran who had worked a long time with Bill Davis Racing and currently works for Richard Childress Racing.

Drafting the Circuits radio program began in March of 2012. It is a weekly radio show that covers NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1 and other forms of racing. It includes guest interviews and round table discussions and occurs LIVE.

At the same time one of  NASCAR's biggest and most respected veteran writers, Steve Waid, asked me to write for him at his website I was beyond humbled!

In August 2012 Motorsports Unplugged sent me to Pocono Raceway as their media representative for the second date on that track's NASCAR schedule. I met ARCA, NASCAR Camping World Truck, and NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, interviewed them both in the garage and in the media center, and started making a name for myself among my peers.

An Internet radio station named Performance Motorsports Network asked me to join the panel  of one of their Motorsports programs, Burning Rubber Radio, and also asked to carry Drafting the Circuits, my show, as a syndicated program throughout the weekend.

Performance Motorsports Network got media credentials for me to attend Homestead-Miami for NASCAR's championship weekend across their three major touring series.

Again I met drivers, crew chiefs, crewmen and women, track personnel, and NASCAR Hall of Famers of all kinds, from Richard Petty and Dale Inman to Rusty Wallace and Leonard Wood of the Wood Brothers.

By 2013 Drafting the Circuits launched its own website and I was able to post original articles along with writers I had hired to flesh out the site. The website enabled me to easily procure media credentials under Drafting the Circuits. We attended both NASCAR and Camping World Truck races from Pocono to Las Vegas, but the all-important Indianapolis 500 with my IndyCar correspondent Frank Santoroski.

In 2014 my radio show was getting LIVE legendary guests like Mario Andretti, Bobby Unser, Bobby Allison, as well as series regular drivers like Brendan Gaughan, Joey Coulter, Charlie Kimball and Spencer Gallagher.

Also in 2014 we were able to claim a huge coup when we added Formula 1 to the list of credentials our small site had won. My correspondent Steve Aibel was given credentials to the U.S. Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas.

My site continues to grow, the articles garner thousands of page views, and our listenership increases weekly.

I do this all out of my home from my home computer and a small "studio" my husband set up for me in my basement.

Not only am I a former teacher, an involved parent, but I am an active and busy business woman as well.


  1. Chief 187 is a fabulous writer, host, mother, & wife. If you have never taken the time to read her articles, listen to her show on Whoobazoo you are missing it. Do you enjoy racing of all kinds? Take some time and check out the Drafting The Circuits web site and the live radio show on! You won't be disappointed, I promise !