To find out, tune into a new reality show to watch Crowell, a car enthusiast from Hendersonville, race his import vehicle against American muscle cars driven by the aforementioned rednecks. The series is called R U Faster Than a Redneck and airs on the Speed channel.
“The premise is they have a select group of quote unquote rednecks that have their highly tuned muscle cars. They will compete against import drivers, guys in import and European cars, for a chance to win $10,000,” says Crowell. “I own a German automotive repair shop, and the production company was calling different shops trying to find contestants. That’s how they found me.”
For Crowell, the opportunity to race on national television came at an inopportune time. Two months prior to the producer’s phone call, he had sold his primary racing vehicle. Suddenly needing a car, Crowell sought advice from his father — the man he says taught him everything he knows about racing — and from an engine expert he knows. Their advice was simple.
“It’s funny. Their final words on separate occasions were don’t bring a knife to a gunfight,” Crowell says. “That led me to looking for something that I knew would fit the bill.”
A friend of Crowell’s at Carolina Auto House led him to a 2001 Audi S4 Avant in Texas.
“I went out and purchased a car I knew I could tune to be competitive for that particular track,” he says. “This was my one chance to get on TV…and hopefully give myself an advantage. It was a tough thing to do.”
Crowell wasn’t exactly a rookie racer heading into the show. In addition to running his European automotive repair business, EuroTechnik, he competes in amateur road racing events in his spare time.
Each episode, hosted by comedian Jon Reep, will feature two contestants going wheel-to-wheel on a road course. Crowell says racing enthusiasts will see some high-dollar performance machines.
“It was great and kind of cool because I come from the background of working on these European cars,” he says. “I knew it was kind of a show glorifying the rednecks and their high-end muscle cars. But I did a little more research…and this is far from your country bumpkin’s muscle cars.”
So how did Crowell’s European Audi perform against American muscle? Well, there’s that old television saying: Tune in to find out.
“I can’t say a thing,” he laughs. “I’m prohibited from saying anything.”
The first episode aired in February, and at the time Crowell spoke he was still waiting to hear when his episode would air. The show is broadcast Monday nights at 9pm.
UPDATE: In case you missed the show, yes, Joe Crowell IS faster than a redneck.