Q: I am a loyal follower of NASCAR Race Hub on FS1. In just the past few weeks, a Shannon Spake seems to have replaced Danielle Trotta as host. I thought Trotta was fantastic, so I’m wondering if this is temporary or whether Trotta has left and, if so, why?
P.D., of Millstadt
A: Life in the fast lane apparently hasn’t been fast enough for Trotta lately, so she has put her professional pedal to the metal and moved on.
“My departure comes at a time where I’m ready to grow and tackle new challenges,” the 36-year-old Trotta tweeted in announcing her departure Feb. 13. “The journalist in me finds intrigue around many corners and this was the right time personally and professionally to follow where the next story leads.
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Trotta, who began her TV career on her Carmel High School’s local channel, started as a photographer at WBTV in Charlotte, N.C., before convincing the station’s management to move in front of the camera. Since 2013, she had served as co-host of Race Hub, the network’s hour-long daily NASCAR show. She also was a state champion-caliber swimmer and diver in high school and on Twitter calls herself a “bride to be.”
“Thank you to Fox for believing in my talent,” she wrote. “I was a kid when it all started and was given every chance a young reporter and host could dream of. I look forward to sharing my future plans soon ...”
She has been replaced by Shannon Spake, 40, who joined Fox last July after a decade at ESPN, where she was a pit reporter during races and also contributed to “NASCAR Countdown” and “NASCAR Now.” Her initial work at Fox consisted of sideline work at college football and basketball games, but she is now hosting FS1’s pre-race coverage for the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
When Chet “Mr. Guitar” Atkins was a youngster, what would he use to replace his broken ukelele strings?
Answer to Sunday’s trivia: Probably a little-known fact: Before he became a legendary military general, 26-year-old George S. Patton finished fifth in the modern pentathlon while representing the United States at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. Perhaps ironically, it was the shooting event that hurt him. In true Patton style, he chose to use his military .38 revolver rather than the lighter .22 favored by most of his competitors. As a result, the .38 blew larger holes in the target, so it was often believed that one of his shots was ruled as a miss when it actually passed through a previous hole. But in “Patton: A Genius for War,” author Carlo D’este wrote that Patton did miss the target, saying that Patton was likely tired from his long ocean voyage and did not have adequate time to practice. Patton reportedly also was an expert fencer, rewriting the Army’s manuals on swordsmanship by focusing on the attack. Defense (e.g., the parry), he said, was just wasted energy.