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Gretchen Wilson joins ESPN for NASCAR coverage

Gretchen Wilson.

Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Gretchen Wilson will be featured in ESPN’s telecasts of the 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, which begins with the Sunday, Sept. 15, event at Chicagoland Speedway.

Wilson, who has appeared at numerous NASCAR races and had a connection to racing as a child, will narrate and appear in the opening teases of the telecasts of the 10 races, with each tease tailored to the racetrack hosting that week’s event. In addition, her music will be featured through the entire Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup on ESPN.

“Just as NASCAR appeals to a great cross-section of American people, the same can be said for Gretchen Wilson’s blend of song and attitude that has made her an icon of the music industry for the past decade,” said Rich Feinberg, ESPN vice president, motorsports, production. “We look forward to showcasing her music and personality during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.” 

Wilson exploded onto the country music scene in 2004 with her smash hit “Redneck Woman” and has since scored three No. 1 albums. The critically-acclaimed singer/songwriter has won virtually every award for which she’s been nominated, including trophies from the Grammys, ACM, CMA, AMA and more. CMT listed her “Redneck Woman” video at No. 11 in their Top 100 videos in 2008. Her first book, the autobiographical Redneck Woman: Stories from My Life, landed her on the prestigious New York Times Best Seller List.

Gretchen formed her own record company, Redneck Records, in 2009, and her “I’d Love To Be Your Last” single from her “I Got Your Country Right Here” CD received two Grammy nominations. She has three album releases this year, including a new country offering entitled “Right On Time” and the 13-song rock covers record “Under the Covers,” both in stores now, and a Christmas CD that will be released in the fall.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be associated with NASCAR and ESPN as we begin the Chase,” said Wilson. “Many of the fans who show up at our concerts on Saturday nights are watching the races on Sundays. I’m honored to be a part of this great American tradition and look forward to seeing the fans at some races this fall.”

Wilson, who has sung the national anthem at several NASCAR races, became interested in the sport as a child.

 ”I’ve been a racing fan ever since my uncle ran dirt tracks outside St. Louis when I was a kid,” she said. “He would let me clean the mud out of the wheel wells with a 2×4, and I thought I was part of the pit crew. This has already been an exciting season, and I think it’s about to get crazy.”

Wilson’s musical contributions to ESPN also will be featured online at www.espn.com/music with updates on Twitter at @espnmusic and @ESPNNASCAR. Wilson is on Twitter as @gw27.

Nine of the 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will air on ESPN, with the race on Saturday night, Oct. 12, at Charlotte Motor Speedway airing on ABC. The season ends at Florida’s Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 17.

Billy Currington dropped by NASCAR race

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Things are starting to get a little worse for Billy Currington. After news that he was indicted on making terroristic threats towards a charter boat captain who had passed by his dock, NASCAR has announced that he will be replaced by Josh Turner at the Sprint All-Star Race. The line-up change was made official on Friday morning. The race and concert was scheduled for May 18th, and officials chose to go with the South Carolina native as Billy’s replacement.

Marcus Smith, President and general manager of the Charlotte Motor Speedway, said:

“Due to Currington’s recent indictment, we elected to change our act for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.”

Billy had turned himself in to authorities on April 15th after he was indicted. He posted bail a few hours later in Savannah, Georgia. His indictment also included an elder abuse charge as the boat captain is over 70 years old.

 

Trace Adkins to Host NASCAR Special on GAC

Trace Adkins. photo credit: Showdog-Universal Records.

Show Dog-Universal’s very own Trace Adkins is getting quite a few hosting gigs this year. Not only will he be returning once again to host the American Country Awards on FOX this December alongside Kristin Chenoweth, but now he’ll be hosting a brand new NASCAR series on GAC.

“The Definitive” will air on Great American Country and will profile the lives of top NASCAR drivers, their careers, and some pretty neat footage, interviews, and exclusive pictures for its viewers.

“’The Definitive’ series is a favorite with our viewers. Teaming up with Nascar Productions ensures that the stories behind the drivers are told with heart and authenticity,” said GAC VP/Programming Suzanne Gordon.

The program will air weekly on GAC on Wednesdays, with the first episode premiering last night. Did you catch it?

Marlee Scott to Perform at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in Watkins Glen

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Big Ride Entertainment’s Marlee Scott will be making multiple appearances at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at The Glen during their biggest race weekend, August 9th – 12th.

Marlee will help kick off the weekend festivities with a concert on Friday night, August 10, at the Red Cat Summer Stage. The free show is held each year on the Watkins Glen International infield. Marlee makes a private VIP appearance on Saturday and then performs the U.S. and Canadian national anthems live on ESPN immediately prior to the race on Sunday, Aug. 12.  This year’s Watkins Glen International NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is expected to attract approximately 5 million viewers on ESPN.

Marlee has performed at numerous high-profile sporting events over the past year, including the 2011 ACC Football Championship game, the Unbridled Eve Gala at the 138th Kentucky Derby weekend, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and several Major League Baseball and National Hockey League games.

The rising Country music star released her U.S. debut album, Beautiful Maybe, on June 19.  She has released two singles and music videos from the project to date: 2011’s “Beautiful Maybe” and 2012’s “Train Wreck.”  Beautiful Maybe is available now at iTunes, Amazon.com and all major digital music retailers.  View the official “Train Wreck” music video directed by CMT award-winning director Roman White here.

In 2011, Marlee launched her “Make It or Bake It” webisode cooking series.  The online clips feature some of Marlee’s favorite food and drink recipes.  The latest installment is a Watkins Glen-inspired racing drink called “Zoom-By-Ya.”  View Marlee’s “Make It or Bake It” episodes here.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at The Glen race is held Sunday, Aug. 12, at 1 p.m. ET in Watkins Glen, N.Y.   Tickets for the 2012 race season are currently on sale at the WGI ticket office at (866) 461-RACE (7223) or at www.TheGlen.com.

Nashville-based event marketing and brand development company The Art of the Game is producing this year’s entertainment program at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at The Glen race.

For more information about Country artist Marlee Scott, visit www.MarleeScott.com.

Are any of our readers coming to my town for this event? Hope to see y’all there!

The Band Perry Helps Nascar Announce Hero’s Race

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On Saturday, country music’s newest sweethearts, The Band Perry visited Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) to join with NASCAR in announcing that the summer’s Sprint Cup Series will be named after an everyday American hero through a new partnership between Crown Royal Whisky, the IMS and BigMachineRecords.com. Under the official title, Crown Royal Presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com, fans will have the opportunity to vote for the race’s namesake. The race weekend will also feature performances by The Band Perry, Justin Moore, the Mavericks & Greg Bates.

The Band Perry had the privilege of announcing the five finalists who may win the opportunity to have the race named after them. They include veteran and philanthropist, Dale Beatty, ICU Nurse, Lindsey Marquez, Fire Lieutenant and EMT, Curtiss Shaver, Deputy Sheriff John Thomas & veteran and Purple Heart recipient, Brandon Veatch. The winner out of these lucky five will have their name on all race signage, apparel, TV broadcasts, as well as the opportunity to meet the country stars and attend the performances, wave the green flag to start the race and deliver the trophy to Victory Lane.

“There’s no track in the world like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and I’m thrilled that we will return as a race sponsor in 2012 for the Crown Royal presents the ‘Your Hero’s Name Here’ 400 at the Brickyard powered by BigMachineRecords.com!” said Scott Borchetta, President and CEO of the Big Machine Label Group. “We will again bring our most exciting artists to the stage for a great pre-race musical experience for the fans.”

“Once again the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is excited to offer a weekend full of great racing and great music,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and CEO Jeff Belskus. “Our fans are in for a real treat when some of the best names in the Big Machine Label Group combine with Crown Royal and some of the best names in racing to provide a great day of entertainment for our fans.”

If you’d like to cast a vote for one of these incredible finalists, you can visit Facebook.com/CrownRoyal and click the “Crown Your Hero” tab. The voting will run until June 28th.

If you’d like to attend the big race, tickets start at just $30 and can be purchased online at www.imstix.com, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or by visiting the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday. Children 12 and under will receive free general admission to any IMS event in 2011 when accompanied by an adult general admission ticket holder.

Check out photos of the Band Perry at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway here:

VIDEO: How About A Primetime NASCAR Party?

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Rain may have postponed the Daytona 500, pushing it from yesterday until (hopefully) tonight. Waiting is about as fun as a missing lug nut, but the delay isn’t putting the damper on race fans’ enthusiasm.  If anything, the first postponement in the 54-year history of the event means one more day for a NASCAR party — this time in primetime.  Plus, it gives us another reason to share Julie Roberts’ “NASCAR Party” video!

The race is scheduled to get underway shortly after 7pm (ET) and will be broadcast live on FOX.  Carl Edwards is on the pole with Greg Biffle on the outside.  Defending Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart starts third.

For all of our NASCAR fans out there, leave a message in our comments and let us know who ya got!

Ella Mae Bowen To Perform At NASCAR Awards

Ella Mae Bowen.

NASCAR has just announced that Big Machine’s newest artist, Ella Mae Bowen, will perform at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards ceremony December 2nd at Wynn Las Vegas. Valory Music Co artist Reba McEntire will host and also perform at the event that honors the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion and the other drivers who finished top 10 of the final series standings.

Ella Mae will sing her version of “Holding Out For A Hero” which appeared on the Footloose movie sound track earlier this year. Fans can watch both the red carpet special and the awards ceremony on the SPEED network starting at 9 pm EST.

Ella Mae is a South Carolina native who was recently signed to Big Machine as a singer-songwriter. The 15-year old may be the next Taylor Swift, who also calls the label home. Ella Mae expects to release music next year on Big Machine, and she’s currently working on her debut record in studio.

VIDEO: Blake Shelton Performs For NASCAR

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Blake Shelton was the headlining act in Miami last night at NASCAR’s free concert featuring Blake and Hunter Hayes. Watch his performance of “Hillbilly Bone” below:

VIDEO: Stealing Angels Perform Anthem At NASCAR

Stealing Angels.

The Stealing Angels girls were on-hand to perform the anthem before the NASCAR race on November 12th. The all-girl trio shared one microphone for the performance, which you can watch below thanks to a fan who taped it:

Reba To Host NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards In Las Vegas

Reba McEntire. photo credit: Big Machine Records.

NASCAR just announced that country music megastar Reba McEntire will host its Sprint Cup Award Ceremony December 2nd at the Wynn Las Vegas. The ceremony will honor the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and other drivers who made the top ten of the final series standings. Over the years, the award show has become an entertainment hot spot with stars from every genre in music attending.

In addition to hosting the event, Reba will perform “Turn On The Radio” from her latest album “All The Woman I Am.” Other special segments involving Reba will be announced at a later time by NASCAR and The Valory Music Co., and the segments will be aired live on SPEED and Sirius/XM radio.

“I’m delighted to be hosting the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards this year,” Reba said. “Country Music and NASCAR have shared fans for many years so I’ll feel right at home. My family and I have gotten to meet so many nice people in the racing industry this year with my youngest son, Shelby, being one of the competitors. We appreciate so much the super hospitality.”

Reba’s son Shelby Blackstock competes in the GRAND-Am Road Racing competition and she frequently attends his races. She’s performed “America The Beautiful” and “God Bless America” at earlier races this year.