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Motor-sports show produced by Aspinwall company to debut on Root Sports

| Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Jan Pakler | for The Herald
321 Blink in Aspinwall is producing the show Open Throttle 360, which will make its debut on Root Sports on May 24 at 11 a.m.. From left are producer Tim McLaughlin, senior editor Zakk Heaps, and executive producer Tripp Clarke.

For the makers of “Open Throttle 360,” it isn't as much about who wins the race, it's about the passion and history of motor sports in the Western Pennsylvania region.

“Open Throttle 360,” produced by Aspinwall-based 321Blink, will make its debut on Root Sports on May 24, at 11 a.m.

The show, which will be in its third season after airing on PCNC for the past two seasons, focuses on the personalities in motor sports.

Tripp Clarke, president of marketing and creative for 321Blink, said the show strives to include any kind of motor sports the crew can find.

“Our goal is to cover enough variety in the motor-sports venue that in any half hour, somebody will see something they enjoy,” Clarke said.

However, instead of focusing on results from local races, the show includes features on the families and people who make motor sports their passion.

Tim McLaughlin, president of sales and creative for 321Blink, said that attracts a wider audience.

“What we're good at is helping people tell a story,” McLaughlin said.

The crew brainstorms ideas for the show and likes to support fundraisers such as military nights or charity car cruises, Clarke said. It also does historical pieces on racetracks that now are closed using archived photos and interviews.

“We'll try to take a little more of a (documentary maker) Ken Burns approach on that,” Clarke said.

Clarke co-hosts the show with Tom Lang, a longtime auto journalist.

“He brings a knowledge base to what we're doing. We really needed and wanted to make sure we were well representing to the motor-sports community,” Clarke said.

For its move from PCNC, Chris Higbee, formerly of the band The Povertyneck Hillbillies, recorded a new theme song.

With the show now airing on Root Sports, it will reach 3.3 million homes in five states. McLaughlin said the location of the people featured on the show shouldn't matter to viewers.

“To me, that's irrelevant. If it's a good story, it's a good story,” McLaughlin said.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513, or

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