Derek White – a former driver and team owner in NASCAR’s top-three series — will be a subject of a brand-new true-crime series called ‘Running Smoke’, according to a February 4 report from Deadline.com.
The series, which is hosted by journalist Rajiv Golla, follows the intriguing story of Derek White, the first driver of indigenous descent to race in the NASCAR Cup Series upon making his debut in 2015.
However, less than a year later, White was arrested and charged for his involvement in one of the biggest tobacco smuggling busts in Canadian history, smuggling at least 158 transports containing 2,294 tons of tobacco – worth $530 million — to sell to First Nations people in Canada.
Shortly thereafter, NASCAR indefinitely suspended White.
The Kahnawake, Quebec-native’s arrest in March 2016 signaled the conclusion of a very sporadic career, which saw White make 29 NASCAR National Series stats between 2009 and 2014. White’s best finish was an 18th at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2012.
The project, which will debut later in 2022 on iHeartRadio, is a collaboration between well-known radio personality Dan Patrick, Workhouse Media, and Campside Media – the company behind Chameleon: The Hollywood Con Queen podcast.
In Deadline.com’s report, Golla said, “My father was a NASCAR fan, and his father before him…well, I don’t think he ever saw a V8 in his life. I was drawn to Derek’s story because it represented the old-school grit – and tax evasion – that NASCAR was founded on. After my first trip to Kahnawake, I realized that the story went so much deeper, and it’s a privilege to be working with Dan Patrick to tell it with the nuance it deserves.”
“Running Smoke is a really compelling story and I am beyond thrilled to partner with Campside, iHeart, and Workhouse Media on this project,” [Dan] Patrick added. “I’m confident that our first-in-class producing team will combine to make this show a must-listen.”
Campside Media co-founders Adam Hoff and Josh Dean echoed their excitement for the project, mentioning how honored they are to be working with Dan Patrick, who they grew up watching on Sportscenter.