'Tanked' helps animals with NASCAR driver Ryan Newman

Tanked-Wayde-King-Brett-Raymer-Ryan-Newman.jpgIn Friday's (March 14) episode of Animal Planet's "Tanked," aquarium experts Wayde King and Brett Raymer of the Las Vegas-based Acrylic Tank Manufacturing (ATM) head to Statesville, N.C., to meet a racing legend and help rescue some of God's critters.

Newman, who drives for Richard Childress Racing, and his wife, Krissie, own Rescue Ranch, a non-profit animal-welfare organization founded in January 2012, which helps to end pet overpopulation and provide humane care.

ATM takes on the challenge of creating a desk-shaped freshwater tank for Newman, that not only features fish but reproductions of some of his favorite pets -- such as a bulldog, a Laborador retriever, rabbits, turtles and snakes -- all surrounding a realistic-looking NASCAR helmet.

"He bought 200 acres for his wife," King tells Zap2it, "and they save animals. They bring them to the ranch, and they have an education program so that kids can learn about the animals and touch them. So, we made a beautiful desk aquarium. We put a helmet in it to represent NASCAR. We put all the animals into represent the ranch. It came out really, really cool."

Along with loving animals, the ATM guys are also sports fans, including NASCAR. "Love cars," says King. "I'm not a football nut or a basketball or baseball nut like Brett. I'm more into water sports and race cars."

King has even taken a turn around a track at the Richard Petty Driving Experience in Las Vegas.

"It's an experience," he says, "that I would recommend to anyone who loves race cars or speed. Going around the track 200 times at 200 miles an hour, that's a real tough job. That's not easy to do. To see these guys do it, it's incredible."

Asked how Newman reacted, Raymer says, "Ryan's not a super over-the-top excited guy. I think he liked it; he was really happy. I don't think he's seen one of our projects before, so he was amazed at what we actually do."

There's also a companion book to the series coming out on March 25, called, unsurprisingly, "Tanked: The Official Companion."

Here's a sneak peek at the episode:


Photo/Video credit: Animal Planet