MUSCLE SHOALS — Eric Malone loves car racing and his plan is to make the whole country love it, too.
Malone is one of a team of nine that's been featured in nine episodes of "Fastest Cars in the Dirty South." All episodes are available on the Motor Trend app.
The premise of the show is that the team, made up of eight men and one woman who race cars and are mechanically talented, rebuilds the slowest cars to become the fastest.
"We all have different jobs by day, but we have this love of racing in common and we've just done it together for years," Malone said. "We just decided to start building cars, but by swapping out parts we figured out how to make them run a lot faster. Three years ago, we caught the attention of a producer, so a crew filmed us racing in Arkansas, then came here to Muscle Shoals and filmed some more, and then it turned into a pilot for a show."
The Discovery Channel that owns Motor Trend will televise the episodes this fall, but Malone said the beginning date hasn't been announced.
"As of now, I'm told everybody's loving it, and we're just hanging out making history right here in the Shoals," Malone said. "I don't know of any other reality show being filmed right here in the Shoals. It's pretty cool."
Other members of the team are Brant Arnold, Britt Berryhill, Mikey Smith, Dane Hearn, Malcolm Story, Jamie Wayne, Greg Blades and Deda Ford.
"Deda's the driver that nobody really expects, and I mean she's the fastest girl in the Shoals area," Malone said. "In one episode she goes 135 mph in a single block."
The team members each bring their own unique talent and personality to their Muscle Shoals-based shop.
Producers say there's a magic in the crew — a special something that hooks viewers and gets them coming back for more.
"We're just being us, just doing this racing thing with a little added challenge of taking the slowest car and making it the fastest," Malone said. "We have a good time."
The team filmed episodes from January through July, not breaking on weekends.
"We sure got enough of the filming, but when they tell us there's a season two, we'll be ready to go again," Malone said. "They're telling us it's the next biggest thing in racing shows."
In most episodes, the team builds the car from start to finish. And Malone admits that filming makes it look way easier than it actually is.
"We're just having fun with it," he said. "We'll see where it goes."