The NASCAR playoffs are in full swing, as are the NFL and college football seasons. The schedule is packed with sports, which means that FOX Sports reporter/host Shannon Spake is working seemingly nonstop. However, she embraces this busy routine while balancing her training schedule and important time with her family.
Fall is the busiest time of the year for Spake. She spends her weeknights co-hosting “NASCAR Race Hub” with Adam Alexander and Kaitlyn Vincie on FS1 before switching sports for the weekend. She serves as a reporter for FOX Sports, covering both the NFL and college football. Having a packed schedule means that Spake is often conducting NFL interviews on the phone while prepping to work on “Race Hub” or writing the show while on an airplane to a football game. This schedule could become hectic, but Spake has no reason to complain.
“It’s a lot of running out of the makeup chair to go and get a player on the phone and then writing the show and then doing the show,” Spake told “Heavy” in an exclusive interview on Thursday, Sept. 23. “It is a lot of time management right now, it’s a lot of going off of my calendar and making sure that I stick to it because the important things to me still are making sure I’m up every morning with my kids and getting them off to school. [I] pick them up, I also coach cross country with the boys. So it’s very important for me to be there as well.”
Spake added that she was sitting at home 1.5 years ago due to the COVID shutdown just wishing that she could be busy again. Her schedule is now full with covering the biggest stories from multiple sports, “which is a dream come true.”
Spake is Part of a Talented Broadcast Team
Alexander and Spake may be the co-hosts of “NASCAR Race Hub,” but they work with a wide variety of personalities. The nightly FS1 show features several guest analysts, including active and retired drivers and crew chiefs. The list includes Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Phil Parsons, Todd Bodine, and Chad Knaus among many others.
Given the wide variety of backgrounds and personalities, it would be understandable if the interactions on “NASCAR Race Hub” seemed a little “stiff.” This is not the case. The analysts and hosts alike all show up with considerable energy and play off of each other during the segments, resulting in an entertaining product. Though reaching this point took some time.
“We’re a team so it’s not one person teaching another person,” Spake said. “It’s all of us growing together and on that ‘RaceDay’ show that’s very much been the case with Jamie [McMurray] and Larry [McReynolds] and myself. We have 100% grown together over the last three seasons, where we can go on air for a two-hour rain delay and have nothing scripted or nothing written or no rundown. We can just go because we can play off each other very easily because we’ve built that [chemistry] over the years.”
Spake’s Packed Schedule Also Includes Several Endurance Races
Along with interviewing the biggest stars across NASCAR, the NFL, college football, and college basketball, Spake spends a considerable amount of time training for endurance races. She has competed in five different Ironman 70.3s — a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride, and 13.1-mile run — and she has plans to compete in a full Ironman in 2022.
In order to train for these events, as well as the upcoming Chicago Marathon, Spake has to adjust her schedule. She wakes up no later than 5:30 a.m. but is often out of bed by 4:30 a.m. to get some training done before her kids wake up at 6. Spake explained that she wants to be the one that gets her twin boys ready for school and out the door by 7, so she focuses on training early to achieve this goal.
“My husband, fortunately, he can drive them to school so I can kind of get things started with either ‘Race Hub’ or NFL or any of that stuff at 7 a.m.,” Spake said. “And then I just work up to when I need to do something else. But yeah, it’s early mornings and in bed about 9 or 9:30.”
Spake does not simply compete in Ironman events. She also plays a key role in raising money for the Ironman Foundation, which supports numerous causes. The Foundation provides relief to communities impacted by natural disasters, honors Gold Star families, and donates bicycles to kids in need. There are several other ways in which the Ironman Foundation makes a positive impact, and Spake supports them all as an Ironman Foundation Ambassador.
“I’ve been involved with Ironman races and the Ironman Foundation — I got involved with the Foundation in 2016 — so I’ve been involved with them and raise money for them every year through an auction that I do,” Spake explained. “I reach out to NFL teams and NBA and college and NASCAR and I get signed merchandise. I sell it on eBay and all that money goes to the Ironman Foundation. Doing the races has really taken on a new life for me because of the charitable portion of what I do.”