THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor | Episode #256

The month is August, the weather is scorching, and we’re in Reno, Nevada. That’s right, it’s Hot August Nights! In fact, it’s the 30th Anniversary of the event. We’re bringing you the action live from 4th and Virginia, alongside Chris Duke, Steven Cole Smith, Rich Barsamian, Steve Mank, and Mike Whan!


  • [00:00:00] Those Summer Nights
  • [00:05:13] Viper Races
  • [00:12:29] Boomtown
  • [00:19:41] Five Foot Fa
  • [00:29:58] Taking Over the Town
  • [00:35:44] Clutches and Flywheels
  • [00:42:06] Protecting Hobbyists
  • [00:47:57] The Sound of Pure Performance
  • [00:54:38] Doing your Duty
  • [01:01:50] HAN Cup
  • [01:12:50] Like Father, Like Son
  • [01:17:53] Ingenuity
  • [01:24:14] A Chicken Covered in Whipped Cream
  • [01:29:46] Cops are Car Guys
  • [01:36:47] Executive Director Whan
  • [01:44:08] Calling All Young’uns
  • [01:55:03] Hot Rodders of Tomorrow
  • [02:00:12] Until Next Time



Discover more about segments and guests below…


[00:00:00] Those Summer Nights

Live from Hot August Nights (@HotAugustNights) in Reno, Nevada, it’s Alan Taylor and Chris Duke (@chrisduketv)! Now how did Alan come to be Grand Marshal (for seven years running) at this awesome event? We’ll find out in this segment.


[00:05:13] Viper Races

Steven Cole Smith (@RACERmag) is on the line from a “microtel” in Wisconsin. He’ll be heading over to the Road America track soon, but not before he and Alan discuss the ins and outs of racing Vipers.


[00:12:29] Boomtown

The guys chat about Mayor Bob (the ex mayor of Reno), Seattle drag races, and a driver who recently suffered a heart attack and is already back in the game.


[00:19:41] Five Foot Fat

The downside to driving a sporty car like the Fiat 124 or a Miata is the size constraints that become apparent if you’re beyond a certain height and weight. Alan and Steven (@RACERmag) share their struggles with us and provide some protips for hauling yourself out of a tiny car gracefully.


[00:29:58] Taking Over the Town

There’s a crazy amount of activity going on at Hot August Nights (@HotAugustNights)! Car shows, concerts, cruises, and so much more – is there anything else like it?


[00:35:44] Clutches and Flywheels

With a revving Mustang in the background, Rich Barsamian from Advanced Clutch Technology (@AdvancedClutch) tells us about the company, what he’s doing at Hot August Nights, and his involvement in SEMA.


[00:42:06] Protecting Hobbyists

Rich Barsamian (@AdvancedClutch) (or King Barsamian as he is known to Alan) works for the Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council with SEMA. SEMA is responsible for protecting the automotive world as well as the rights of hobbyists.


[00:47:57] The Sound of Pure Performance

Is legislation getting in the way of you turning a street legal car into a race car? Act now to stop the madness! The RPM Act of 2016 will cement the definition of a motor vehicle and protect the motorsports industry. Click here to see how you can get involved.


[00:54:38] Doing your Duty

The great thing about doing a live show at an event is that anything can happen! Of course, that also happens to be the downside. While we’re on the air, a “honey sucking” truck pulls up next to the stage, prompting Alan to tell a “doodyful” story that leaves off on a cliff-hanger. Warning: this segment might make you a bit queasy!


[01:01:50] HAN Cup

Our next guest, Steve Mank, is a judge for the Hot August Nights Cup (@HotAugustNights), a competition between 50 of the best classic cars in the country. This year’s prize purse is incredible; over $100,000! Find out how the Hot August Nights Cup came to be in this segment.


[01:12:50] Like Father, Like Son

Steve Mank, Co-Host of MuscleCar and all around gearhead, got his start in the automotive world the same way most car guys do – his dad. Starting out as a general mechanic and moving on to hot rods, Steve has accumulated over 30 years of experience in the business.


[01:17:53] Ingenuity

People are able to engineer some amazing stuff from their own garages. As a judge for the Hot August Nights Cup (@HotAugustNights), Steve Mank has seen quite a few incredible builds. How do they do it?!


[01:24:14] A Chicken Covered in Whipped Cream

Every great car show needs an auction to go with it. This year, there’s a new group on the scene taking over for Barrett-Jackson: the Motor Sport Auction Group!


[01:29:46] Cops are Car Guys

Have you ever talked your way out of a ticket? Chris Duke (@chrisduketv) did (albeit inadvertently). Listen in for the full story!


[01:36:47] Executive Director Whan

It’s time to talk to the guy who made this entire event happen! Introducing Mike Whan, first time Executive Director of Hot August Nights (@HotAugustNights)! Let’s find out how things are going so far.


[01:44:08] Calling All Young’uns

How do you continue to grow an event that has already taken over two cities? Mike Whan, Executive Director of Hot August Nights (@HotAugustNights), tells us about his future plans and how he intends to appeal to a younger demographic.


[01:55:03] Hot Rodders of Tomorrow

Ever heard of “Hot Rodders of Tomorrow?” It’s an incredible competition that challenges teams of high school students to build an engine as quickly as they can – one even clocked in at under 3 minutes!


[02:00:12] Until Next Time

And that’s a wrap! We’re having a great time out at Hot August Nights (@HotAugustNights), and it’s time to get back into the action. We say goodbye to Mike Whan, Rich Barsamian (@AdvancedClutch), and Chris Duke (@chrisduketv), but there is just one question we still don’t have the answer to – does anyone actually know what a Grand Marshal does?


Special Guests and Contributors:

Episode Credits:

  • Host: Alan Taylor
  • Producer: Brendon Massa
  • Production Asst: Joanne Bolden
  • Copy Editor: Sara Antonuccio

Our Sponsors & Supported Charities:


This episode was produced by Entertainment Right Now (ERN). If you found value in this episode, and you’d like to hear more, please consider leaving us a review on iTunes and be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you don’t miss a beat. Your feedback helps us to reach more enthusiasts around the world! If you have a question you’d like us to answer, please leave a comment below or e-mail us at

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