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Fast Take   Compiled by Dwight Drum
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NASCAR: Making music before engines roar

Fans are often entertained before they are thrilled with their favorite sport and motorsport. Mini concerts are popular before the first ball is kicked or tossed and before the first engine cranks up too.

Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway concsists of two weeks of racing that includes the ever popular Daytona 500. Various bands keep waiting fans tapping and humming to drums and guitars.

The final two days of Speedweeks DIS hosted the Nationwide race Drive4COPD 300 and the Daytona 500.


Country Music recording stars Patty Loveless and Tim McGraw headlined the first races of 2010. Loveless soothed the Nationwide crowd with sweet music and Tim McGraw rocked the Sprint Cup ticket holders.

Reporter Dwight Drum asked both stars about their work.

Your music, Daytona racing and video are all show business. Can you explain the work that goes into show business for the fans?

“Work in show business ? Most of it’s done by lawyers,” McGraw quipped.

“It’s a lot of preparation. You could compare it to a football game, a baseball game, NASCAR or anything else. A lot of work goes into an hour or two hour long performance. At a football game you put in hours and hours of preparation to try to get people what they pay for. In this economy for people to come out and spend their money to be entertained whether it be racing, football or music it takes a lot of faith in you to do something for them. It’s privilege for me to be up on that stage and know that people have paid their money that they have to go work hard for. In a lot of cases it’s tougher and tougher to make money any more. For them to take that money and come to a NASCAR race and come and see me perform is certainly a privilege. So I think it’s incumbent upon me to work hard and make sure that it works out for them.”


Patty Loveless is one of the four stars, Michael Strahan, Jim Belushi and Bruce Jenner who will drive 6000 miles for Drive4COPD, a campaign to increase awareness about lung diseases.

What do you like best about being a recording star?

“The best part of what I do I love being in the studio and creating,” Loveless said. “And I love being on stage and performing in front of people. That’s how come I depend on these lungs to work. It’s just something I enjoy very, very much. There have been moments when the road gets a little tough at times, the travel. But once you get there and once you get on stage it’s kind a like, OK, this is my place now. This is my turf.”

Do you ever get butterflies?

“Oh yeah, Still. I had butterflies today being around Jim Belushi, Michael Strahan, Bruce Jenner and Danica Patrick. They have been wonderful. You always get a little nervous when you haven’t met somebody and you don’t know them very well. But everybody was just like we knew each other for a long time.”

When the final note from McGraw’s band faded, the welcome roar of engines filled the air around thousands of happy fans. The 2010 NASCAR season was and running. More music and roaring to follow.

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