FS1's Danielle Trotta Talks Television, Breaking Barriers, and Giving Back

Credit: Charlotte Bray for
Skirts and Scuffs
By Kristen Schneider

Danielle Trotta is in her prime.

Since joining NASCAR Race Hub as a reporter in 2010, she is a recognizable face to many FOX Sports 1 viewers as the show’s co-host. Her knack for entertaining and educating make her fun to watch. In addition to her spot at Race Hub, Trotta also hosts pre-race programs for the NASCAR Xfinity Series and various NASCAR specials. She has expanded her talents to MotoGP and Supercross events. In 2015, she ventured outside of racing, reporting from the NFL sidelines as the Arizona Cardinals played the Cleveland Browns on FOX.

While some may wonder why she would stray from NASCAR, Trotta wonders, ‘Why not?’

“It would be easy for me to be complacent because I have really great gigs with NASCAR Race Hub and the Xfinity pre-race that keep me busy,” Trotta told Skirts and Scuffs. “But I’m just at this point in my career where I want to challenge myself when I’m in my prime. I don’t want to look back in 20 or 25 years and say, ‘What if? How far could I have taken this?’ I’m just at a point in my life career-wise and personally where I’m trying to challenge myself.”

Those challenges are not only for herself but also for other women; Trotta wants to show young women that going into uncharted territory is both thrilling and necessary to thrive.

“NFL sidelines were different, Supercross was different, MotoGP was outside my realm. I think that every time you stare fear in the face – at least for me – and you conquer something, there’s a huge sense of pride. It’s easy for people to get nervous and let fear deter them from opportunities,” she said, adding, “I think that’s very important for women to do, especially in a male-dominated industry like racing, television, business, whatever it may be. We have just as much of a right to be here than anyone else – and nothing is handed to you.”

Many females are taking those risks and earning their rewards. Over the past two decades, women have flooded the male-dominated world of NASCAR with powerful voices. Trotta believes the change is causing a ripple effect and will soon enter the garage area.

“I consider it a more gradual change. I think there’s been women – Holly Cain, Claire B. Lang, Wendy Venturini, Krista Voda, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake – for the last 15 and 20 years that have been breaking barriers. Every time a woman does it in television or radio, it becomes easier to let the next one come after them. You’re seeing more women in the garage now. It’s only a matter of time before a woman gets the opportunity to become a crew chief or be a car chief.”

As those women did for her, Trotta and her female coworkers at FS1 want to clear paths for future generations of females sports reporters.

“You hear about the Good Ole Boy’s Club. Well, why can’t there be a girl’s club? We kind of have each other’s back and support each other,” she said. “I know Kaitlyn Vincie, Jamie Little and myself – the three women at FOX and FS1 – all feel that way. We all collectively understand that we have a greater responsibility to the girls coming up behind us. We want to make sure they have the opportunity to be greater, to try new things.”

She – along with Vincie and Little – pushes hard to make that happen. Working for FS1 is a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week job that she takes very seriously. While many may think being on television is a cake walk, copious amounts of time and effort put in by Trotta prove otherwise.

Monday through Thursday, she’s at the FOX Sports studios by 9:30 in the morning to begin show prep. That includes reading articles, social media, and stat sheets – things that will be brought up during the hour-long Race Hub that begins at 5:00. Friday is when she travels – whether it be by air or car – and studies for Xfinity pre-race during the trip. The preparation goes into Friday evening – and don’t even try to coax her out of her hotel room.

“A lot of people like to venture out and see a show or go to a cool restaurant; I’m a loner on the road,” she said with a laugh. “It’s very rare to get me out of my hotel room. I want room service on Friday night and quiet. I just spend a couple of hours deep in note prep.”

She gets to the track at 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning on Saturdays, where the FS1 crew meets with NASCAR. The discussion lasts an hour and covers topics on that day’s Xfinity race. A production meeting follows, and Trotta talks with the show’s writer and adds her thoughts and questions to the script. Once she gets to the Hollywood Hotel, it’s hair and makeup time until an hour before the pre-race show goes live. Trotta, Larry McReynolds, and Kenny Wallace practice at the desk until it is time to go live.

Credit: Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs

Even after the Xfinity race ends, however, the work doesn’t stop.

She said, “I schedule my travel around the Sunday Cup start, making sure I’m home in time for the Cup race. I watch the race, and then right after the race, NASCAR Race Hub has a conference call every Sunday night, and we go over who we want for Monday, what stories we want to tell, what pieces do we have, and where are we sending our reporters.”

Although she has a hectic schedule, not a day goes by where Trotta doesn’t have a smile on her face while in the studio or at the track.

“I naturally love to work. I get so much joy out of what I do,” she said. “You travel overseas, and people from other countries say, ‘All Americans do is work. What are your hobbies?’ You know, I have other things I like to do outside of work, but I love to work. I get so much joy out of it that it never really feels like work.”

Her career gives her a platform, and she intends on using it for good; she plans to start a foundation, an idea she got from the various organizations run by NASCAR drivers. With Charlotte being her second home since college, she wants to give back to the community.

Danielle Trotta is in her prime – and she refuses to slow down. She wants to continue taking on new challenges and breaking down barriers for future female broadcasters. Her passion for her occupation is evident on NASCAR Race Hub, making it a joy to watch. When her career is all said and done, she wants to make a greater impact, one that benefits the city she now calls home.

She is more than just a television host; Trotta is also a role model for young women and an advocate for taking chances. However, at the end of the day, she holds the most important title of all.

She is a person, and a genuine one at that.

“T.V. is what I do, but it’s not who I am,” Trotta said. “I make sure that my self-worth isn’t identified by being on television. I think it can be really easy to get caught up in being a personality. That’s a shallow way of thinking for me. I’ll never allow myself to believe that is all I am.”
FS1's Danielle Trotta Talks Television, Breaking Barriers, and Giving Back FS1's Danielle Trotta Talks Television, Breaking Barriers, and Giving Back Reviewed by Anonymous on Thursday, June 09, 2016 Rating: 5