THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor | Episode #282

The automotive world is changing around every corner and luckily, we get to hear from some of the big names in the industry to help make sense of it all. Professional stock car driver, Cameron Hayley, talks about the high emotions that come into play at a NASCAR race. Kelley Blue Book’s Karl Brauer shares his thrilling motorcycle ride with the MotoAmerica team, and brings home exciting news from the Geneva International Motor Show. Next, Mazda’s  Matthew Valbuena says Mazda’s infotainment interface with signature Bose Sound System may render aftermarket tech obsolete. BJ Killeen shares her latest column with The Vegas Voice. Plus, find out how President Trump’s meeting with automakers may shape the future of the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards. We end the show with a couple inspiring women; Lori Harvey and Kelsey Green, who are setting the bar for fuel efficiency with the help of the Shell Eco-Marathon and Hitachi. Change is constant and automotive knowledge is power, so listen in to find out what is on the horizon for car lovers.


  • [00:00:00] Emotions Run High in NASCAR
  • [00:06:03] Cameron Hayley is On the Hunt for Sponsors
  • [00:12:30] Extreme Quality Garage Cabinets by Hayley
  • [00:19:51] Death-Grip Ride at Thunderhill Raceway
  • [00:27:29] Partying at Geneva International Motor Show
  • [00:35:52] Honda Civic Type R to Arrive in USA
  • [00:42:12] Mazda Showcases Signature Sound at SXSW
  • [00:49:44] Advances Make Aftermarket Sound Obsolete
  • [00:54:43] Big Things for BJ Killeen and MINI
  • [01:02:03] Huge 2017 MINI Countryman Reviewed
  • [01:12:12] Shell Eco-Marathon & Hitachi Inspire Women
  • [01:18:04] Automotive Industry No Longer Boys Club


Discover more about segments and guests below…

[00:00:00] Emotions Run High in NASCAR

High speeds can lead to raised emotions on the NASCAR track. We talk with professional stock car driver, Cameron Hayley, about a recent fight that occurred between Joey Logano and Kyle Busch at a Las Vegas race. Cameron tells us that it took some time to learn to keep his emotions in check after the intensity of a race. The fight, from a fans point of view, can be exciting and raise interest in the event, however, from a sponsor’s standpoint may not be the best idea. After all, in today’s connected times, no small squabble goes unnoticed. Tune in for the latest motorsports drama.


[00:06:03] Cameron Hayley is on the Hunt for Sponsors

Racing is an extremely expensive sport and the only way it can happen is with help from sponsors. Professional stock car driver, Cameron Hayley, shares how important and difficult it is to find someone who will fund his race season. Even top-name drivers have trouble tracking down sponsors. they are looking for someone who will make their brand name look good. The big names are also looking for passion behind the driver, and while a hot headed driver can be entertaining, it solely comes down to the sponsor and what they are hoping to achieve. Cameron is still hunting every day for the right fit, come explore a little bit about his journey.


[00:12:30] Extreme Quality Garage Cabinets by Hayley

Cabinets by Hayley is synonymous with quality. That standard started with the brand’s origin company, Hayley Industrial Electronics Ltd., which produced high-powered, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units for heavy-duty applications. When the young Cameron Hayley started racing, the family decided they needed better quality cabinets for his garage, but they couldn’t find what they were looking for anywhere on the market. Deciding to build their own, they used quality materials to construct their products; thick steel, strong components, and a heavy-duty powder coating. Cameron’s dad started bringing the tool boxes to the races and the inquiries started rolling in. Now they make cabinets for garages all over! Find out more on these extreme cabinets engineered for the toughest garage.


[00:19:51] Death-Grip Ride at Thunderhill Raceway

When it comes to motorcycles, Karl Brauer of Kelley Blue Book is an enthusiast, to say the least. He recently got the opportunity to go on a high-speed ride along at Thunderhill Raceway Park, just west of Willows, California. When you are driving a motorcycle and you control it, you know how much strength you need throughout the ride. While riding on the back, you have to have a death grip the entire time because you don’t know when the driver will brake or lean. With no helmet-to-helmet communication available, Karl held on for dear life as he tried to guess former MotoAmerica driver Chris Ulrich’s next move. (MotoAmerica is a US based MotoGP race series where drivers can train to attend the World MotoGP.) Hear about Karl’s experience getting off the bike and more about MotoGP.


[00:27:29] Partying at Geneva International Motor Show

The Geneva International Motor Show is a favorite for automotive insiders; it’s all about really expensive, limited production toys. Karl Brauer of Kelley Blue Book discusses some of the cars that showed up at Geneva, many of which the average consumer could not afford. A Ferrari 812 Superfast and a Lamborghini Huracan Performante were among some of the lavish cars for sale that had high-dollar customers drooling. However, there was one car that, as Karl put it, a ‘regular human’ could afford, and that was the 2017 Ford Fiesta ST. While transportation is very important to most, car enthusiasts are a breed all their own. That’s where the Geneva International Motor Show comes in; they want to show off extraordinarily, unique designs with price tags to match. Learn more.


[00:35:52] Honda Civic Type R to Arrive in USA

Cars can create a defining sense of self and for decades auto enthusiasts have been customizing their rides to fit their personalities. Starting out in the early 90s, Karl Brauer of Kelley Blue Book, worked for Super Street, a magazine instrumental in the import tuner car modification movement. Fast forward, the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show showcased the Honda Civic Type R, essentially the import car Holy Grail, coming soon to North America. This stunning vehicle boasts impressive horsepower and top-of-line-features, showcasing that iconic Honda flair and appealing to the tuner crowd. This car represents a global movement at Geneva; it’s an every-man car that you don’t have to be a billionaire to buy. Learn more about the Honda Civic Type R, and get some insider information on the Dodge Demon as an added bonus.


[00:42:12] Mazda Showcases Signature Sound at SXSW

Mazda was one of the key automotive sponsors for the SXSW Festival and Matthew Valbuena, Mazda’s Infotainment Engineer, tells us a little about what went on at their booth. Mazda chose to have a daily showcase of different passions the brand exudes; design, safety, technology, and SOUND! Working with Bose sound engineers, they have made it a priority to craft the high-quality, Mazda signature sound for 2017 models. In the vein of infotainment, Mazda has made it their mission to have intuitive tech that doesn’t distract from the road. Design and safety are huge components of their driving philosophy. Learn more.


[00:49:44] Advances Make Aftermarket Sound Obsolete

It used to be that when you bought a new car and had a little extra to spend, a sound system was one of the first additions you would throw into your new ride. These days, things have changed and aftermarket sound systems are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Infotainment Engineer for Mazda, Matthew Valbuena, chats with us about why this trend has changed and what we can look forward to in the future. Infotainment systems come locked-and-loaded with important features like keyless entry and traction control, making it less desirable and cost-effective to pull apart your dashboard. Fortunately, technology is making huge leaps in quality and engineering, potentially eliminating the need for aftermarket sound systems altogether. Discover a whole new world of integrated sound.


[00:54:43] Big Things for BJ Killeen and MINI

As if BJ Killeen wasn’t busy enough, she has taken on a new column for The Vegas Voice. This monthly newspaper focuses on a 50+ demographic, and BJ will be penning articles to appeal to seasoned car-geeks everywhere. Covering car-industry topics that may not be so familiar to an older clientele, BJ aims to help readers become more comfortable with the future of automobiles. She is really excited to be able to write about topics that are often overlooked when it comes to generational automotive knowledge. Congratulations BJ, on your new column!

Shifting gears, Alan introduces the MINI Countryman, the biggest vehicle MINI has made to date. Confused by its size, but elated on the uniqueness of this vehicle, he lets us in on some of the details that make this all-wheel MINI fun to drive. Hear more about the big changes for BJ and the MINI now.


[01:02:03] Huge 2017 MINI Countryman Reviewed

MINI releases their biggest car yet, and although Alan isn’t sure what they were smoking when they came up with the design, he can’t help but like it. This large MINI is all-wheel drive with an expansive panorama sunroof, rain sensing windshield wipers, MINI Connected infotainment system, comfort keyless entry, and even a rearview camera with guidelines. What this vehicle lacks in power, it makes up for with a spacious and comfortable drive experience.

In other news, BJ Killeen discusses President Trump’s meeting with automakers to propose revising the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards. CAFE standards currently mandate that every vehicle manufacturer will need to hit a fleet average of 54.5-MPG by 2025. Although this is a great goal, it may not be realistic. Aside from technical requirements, consumers may not want to purchase a more eco-friendly ride. Case in point, sales of hybrid and electric cars have declined significantly in recent months. Discover what’s in store for the future of fuel economy and decide for yourself what you think about MINI’s newest venture.


[01:12:12] Shell Eco-Marathon & Hitachi Inspire Women

The car industry has been traditionally dominated by men and Hitachi Automotive is working hard to inspire women to get involved. Peeking women’s interest in the science and math of automotive engineering, Lori Harvey, Manager of STEM Educational Outreach and CSR Programs at Hitachi, is trying to get girls engaged to not only like their car, but learn to build it. With this in mind, Hitachi will have a hands-on project booth at the Shell Eco-marathon where students can get further information on creating a healthier environment through improved fuel economy. Outside of the booth, teams at the Shell Eco-Marathon are challenged to build hyper fuel-efficient vehicles and test them out on the streets of Detroit. Find out more about the Shell Eco-marathon and Hitachi’s efforts to integrate women into the car world.


[01:18:04] Automotive Industry No Longer Boys Club

High schools from across the country have formed teams for the 10th annual Shell Eco-Marathon in the United States. 17-year-old Kelsey Green of Granite Falls High School is the proud captain and driver of her school’s Urban Auto All Boys Team. Inspired by her father who is an engineer for Boeing and her sister who was a shop girl, Kelsey fell in love with the automotive industry and has been competing in the Shell Eco-Marathon for four years now. There are many different categories in the marathon – Her team will compete in the Urban Concept category with a nearly street legal car specially engineered to achieve upwards of 525-MPG. Women are making a name for themselves in the industry and Kelsey’s goal is to major in automotive engineering with a minor in business so she can make her mark on the future of fuel efficient cars. Hear more about the brilliant, young minds of the Shell Eco-Marathon now.


Explore More with Helpful Links:

Episode Credits:

  • Program Host: Alan Taylor
  • Producer: Dave Milligan
  • Production Assistant: Joanne Bolden
  • Audio Engineer: Dave Milligan
  • Copy Editor: Jess Baumgardner
  • Graphic Design: Becky Vaughn

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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