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Jay Busbee

Michael Waltrip is going to go all Simon Cowell on y'all

Jay Busbee
From The Marbles

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Here's something that could go spectacularly well or really, really badly. Michael Waltrip is going to be hosting a new traveling "heartland" talent search on SPEED called "Fast Track to Fame," and he's going to be looking for folks with "heartland" appeal ... whatever that is. (Translation: go easy on the Sarah Palin jokes.)

The traveling armada is looking for singers, dancers, musicians, comedians, sword swallowers, carnival geeks, strippers ... okay, maybe not those last few. (But give it a try. You never know.) The tryouts will follow the tried-and-true "American Idol"/"Gong Show" model, with judges sizing up acts and, presumably, offering some folksy, homespun wisdom on the value of holding onto your dreams or whatever.

Think you've got what it takes to be on the show? Head on over to the website and apply. Weekly winners will get to strut their stuff on Friday and Saturday nights of races at the SPEED Stage set up at each track. And I'm sure that the fans watching there will be ever so polite and dignified, particularly on Saturday night after 36 hours of drinking.

"Fast Track to Fame" kicks off on March 1 on SPEED at 8 p.m. Eastern, and will continue through early June. And with any luck, Mikey will replace Simon Cowell on "Idol" shortly thereafter.

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