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FYI WIRZ Fast Take   By Dwight Drum
Web work by Larsen & Drum    Images by Drum
David Spade
Mainstream Celebrities go inside NASCAR for big shows
Kid Rock, Phillip Phillips, Vince Vaughn

NASCAR opens every season with their biggest race of their year, the Daytona 500, with intense fanfare and enthusiasm about stock car competition at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. The fast sanction also invites celebrities outside the motorsports world to participate in gala prerace festivities.

Rock and country stars, actors, comedians and sports standouts get VIP treatment including media press conferences for their roles as pace car driver, green flag starter, infield prerace concert, Nation Anthem singer, Grand Marshall–the ‘start your engines’ duty and other public exposure.

The special DIS and homestead-Miami Speedway visit is celebrity fun duty with a variety of objectives. This reporter has been privileged to interview many celebrities prior to race day responsibilities at press conferences with some one-on-one availabilities. Select comments from 2015 and 2014 at the Daytona 500 race and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway have been organized for fan benefit.

Could these words be music to your ears? Questions about teamwork and effort, comparing motorsports to show business were the common themes. Mainstream celebrities delivered knowledgeable comments.

Kid Rock [Rock Star] [2015 press conference February DIS]

I understand you’re a NASCAR fan as well. For you to come here to Daytona on this spectacular day when the rest of the country is in ice and snow. Talk a little bit about that and what it means to the fans.

“Daytona or one of the other races–Talladega, Bristol,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate to go to a lot of them as a fan and hang out with friends, drivers. I’ve been here several times to work, which is always great too. To someone who does what I do to be able to come down here and promote it at the “Redneck Super Bowl”. Lines up pretty well with my wheelhouse.”

More comments from one who creates and performs for millions.

Dierks Bentley [Country Star] [2013 one-on-one November HMS]

Is there any correlation between a champion and country star like you?

“I think fans are the big key to both,” he said. “We wouldn’t have anything to discuss if it weren’t for our fans. The fans are out there supporting them, cheering for them, buying their merchandise. I think fans are the big key to both worlds. It’s just a love of doing it, whether it’s getting up there and sing every night or getting in the car and driving it. No amount of money would make up for the love of doing it.”

Amy Purdy, Abby Wambach and crew

Disabilities sometimes seem to be an advantage to dedicated celebrities.

Amy Purdy [Actress, Snowboarder, Amputee] [2015 press conference February DIS]

What was it like being at Daytona in the pace car? A lot of fans don’t get that opportunity.

“I’ve never been to Daytona. I’ve never been to this racetrack. It was huge when I drove in for the first time. And to actually get the opportunity to be on the track. To be part of the race. To actually drive on that track. It’s like a dream come true.”

The depth of talent for celebrities contributing to the Daytona 500 is cavernous and potent.

Abby Wambach [Woman’s Soccer champion] [2015 press conference February DIS]

What’s your take on your Daytona official starter duties?

“I’m excited and think this is very cool,” she said. “I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to go to another NASCAR event because I’m probably ruined for life. Now that I’m going to be in the crow’s nest with my teammates waving the green flag to kick off the Daytona 500 for 2015.”

So many similarities abound for the arduous tasks and expertise that teams and crew produce beyond view.

David Spade [Actor, Comedian] [Joe Dirt 2] [2015 press conference July DIS]

A lot of movie fans might not understand all the work that goes into making a movie, the teamwork. NASCAR, the same way. Teams do a lot of work that fans don’t see. They mostly see the driver. Could you compare your movie production team to a NASCAR team?

“I see the comparison,” he said. “You see the driver out there which would be me. Everyone one else is doing all the hard work. Actually the driver is doing a lot of work. I do less hard work in movies than the driver. Behind-the–scenes it’s tons going on, the writing, the editing, just so we get it good.”

Celebrities share common traits that mix well for potent results.

Larry the Cable Guy [Comedian] [2014 one-on-one February DIS]

You got star power. What do rock stars, country stars, comedians, what do they have that gets them to the top?

“The cool thing about comedy. If I didn’t make it in comedy, it opened up a lot of other doors and I could have done other things. So I wasn’t too concerned with it. Ya know?”

He added.

“It’s just the drive. It’s something that you just love to do so much. And if you love doing it – It’s in ya, it’s in ya. It must have been in me. There is nothing I like better than getting on stage and making people laugh. It’s the funnest thing ever.”

Show business work and motorsports efforts are so much more complex than most fans can know.

Vince Vaughn [Actor] [Unfinished Business] [2015 press conference February DIS]

Sometimes fans out there in the NASCAR world and the video world don’t realize the teamwork you have to have do movie production and what a NASCAR has to do too. Talk a little bit about that.

“It’s interesting for the drivers because they’re doing things in a car that you would get a ticket for on the highway,” he said. “They’re talking on the radio. They’re going 200 miles an hour. They’re staring behind them to make sure they have the draft and stuff. It’s really compelling.”

Vaughn added.

“In the film industry there is so much that you don’t see as far as the crew and all the contributions that everybody makes. It really is a team effort. It really does take a lot of people that don’t get seen make all kind of come together.”

Mainstream stars spread a lot of star dust in their efforts to build and keep a celebrity image that feeds their success and fulfills their inner quest. Stardom is not easily attained and maybe even harder to sustain.

FYI WIRZ is the select presentation of topics by Dwight Drum at Racetake.com. Unless otherwise noted, information and all quotes were obtained firsthand or from official release materials provided by sanction and team representatives.

USAF Thunderbirds, Joie Chitwood III, Kid Rock
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