When I was first contacted about interviewing Miss Sprint Cup Brooke Werner I jumped at the chance. After all, how often does a writer from New Jersey get the opportunity to speak with one of the most recognized people in the sport of NASCAR who is almost never heard from.
I, of course, had to start with the standard questions, how, where, but as you will see as you read on, the responses were anything but standard. In fact, many of her answers were quite surprising even to a NASCAR veteran like myself. She then went on to share with me a look at what her race weekend is truly like, and several of the hazards of her job.
The question Brooke likely hears more than any other is where I started, “How does one become Miss Sprint Cup?”
“Well, there isn’t a pageant, or anything like that. Sprint actually has several requirements in order to even apply for the position. You need to have a college degree in either a marketing, or business related area, and of course, a love for racing.”
“What is the best part of your job,” I continued.
Brooke was quick to respond, “The best part is definitely hanging out with the race fans each weekend at The Sprint Unlimited Experience. Especially, when you get to talk with fans who go to more than one NASCAR track, and you recognize them. It really reinforces that family feeling of NASCAR.”
“And the worst part?”
“Honestly, I kind of don’t look forward to being in victory lane when the 18 team(Kyle Busch) wins. They just go nuts with the Gatorade, and then I am just sticky getting in the car leaving the track. And, the beer cars(Kevin Harvick’s Budweiser number 29 and Brad Keselowski’s Miller number 2), they spray the beer around, and I get in the car to leave the track smelling like alcohol, hoping the police don’t stop me, and I would have to explain.”
Hoping to find out even more I never thought about when it came to Miss Sprint Cup I asked, “Tell me something most people wouldn’t realize Miss Sprint Cup does.”
Brooke pondered the question for a minute before sharing, “Probably the fact that I’m often one of the first to arrive at the track, and last to leave. Sometimes I fly in a day early to prepare for my interviews with the drivers in The Sprint Unlimited Experience. I, of course, spend time with the fans, and in the garage area. I do interviews, and what everyone sees, my appearance in victory lane.”
“Who in NASCAR do you most enjoy speaking with?”
“That’s an easy one,” she quickly responded. “Clint Bowyer. I recently did an event with him, and he is just so funny. He’s like a one man stand-up comedy act.”
On the subject of drivers I asked, “Are you friends with Danica Patrick?”
“I’ve never had the opportunity to have a real conversation with her. I think she is such a good representative of the sport.”
“Do you feel you can relate to her as a woman?”
“From the aspect of being a female in a male dominated sport, yes. But what people don’t realize, as the only female driver, the demands she faces every week are unbelievable.”
“On a personal level, do you know if you will be Miss Sprint Cup in 2014, and if not what do you see as your next career step?”
“That hasn’t been announced yet, so you will just have to keep checking http://sports.Sprint.com/speed, like the fans, to find out.” She continued, “As for my future, I, of course, want to stay involved in NASCAR. Maybe join Race Day as someone who interviews the drivers, but to definitely stay within the sport.”
“Finally, tell me a little about what you are doing today?”
Showing a sense of humor, Brooke responded with, “Well, to be honest with you I’m pretty cold standing here outside the Sprint store, located at the Flatiron building on Fifth Avenue in New York City. But I’m here with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Trophy, and the Sprint Show Car, greeting fans.”
She continued, “But most importantly, I’m here to garner support for America Recycles Day, and spread the word of Sprint’s great wireless recycling efforts through it’s Sprint Buyback Program. Sprint is offering a credit, sometimes as high as $300, toward the purchase of a new wireless device with the return of an old one. What’s really incredible is 9 out of 10 of the phones that come back are remanufactured, or reused. The last 10% are recycled into anything from jewelry to car parts.”
As I thanked Brooke for her time, I couldn’t help but think what an eye-opening interview that had been for me. While I knew the job of Miss Sprint Cup entailed more than just standing next to the winning driver in victory lane following a NASCAR Sprint Cup race, I never realized just how time consuming her job really was. From getting there early in the morning, to her interactions with drivers, media, and fans, and of course, the hazards of victory lane like Gatorade or beer showers.
Yet, somehow, there she is, dressed in her bright yellow Sprint fire suit, still smiling, as her long day comes to a close.