News & Media


Country star Adkins has unique bond with Petty

September 06, 2011, Joe Menzer, NASCAR.com

Country music superstar Trace Adkins, who recently has engaged in a series of popular television and web-cam commercials with NASCAR legend Richard Petty, answers this week's six questions.

1. What was it like the first time you met Richard Petty?

"I had never been anywhere like that, where the fanaticism about it was the level that it was around there. I caught onto it pretty quick."

--TRACE ADKINS

Adkins: The first time I met him actually was at Sound and Speed in Nashville four or five years ago. I was just in awe. I got a picture made with him. I got to spend a little time with him then, but never really got to talk to him or anything.

So that was great. Then I started working for BC [Headache] Powder and they started doing this friendly rivalry thing between Goody's [Headache Powder] and BC, and I got to work with him and know him a whole lot more.

2. What has that been like?

Adkins: It's just been awesome. Sometimes when you meet one of your idols, particularly in the music business, you meet someone you've idolized for years and years and you discover they're not all they're cracked up to be. That's not the case with Richard Petty.

That man is the epitome of class. Just the way he conducts himself, the way he carries himself and represents himself and NASCAR, well, he's just one of the most honorable and classy men I've ever been around. It's been an enriching experience to work with him.

3. You two seem to have really hit it off. Does he have more of a comedic side to him than most people may realize?

Adkins: Yeah, I think so. I don't even know if he was aware of some of the stuff he was able to do. During the shooting of one of our webcast commercials, we were standing alone at one point in the day and he leaned over to me and said, 'You know, I never used to have to do this crap until you came along.' ... But I think he actually enjoys it some.

4. Is he as bad on the drums as he appears to be during that one webcast video?

Adkins: Oh, he's awful.

5. And did you have as much trouble getting into the No. 43 car as it appears in one of those videos?

Adkins: Getting in it? Oh, I could get it in it. But I think I pulled a couple of muscles trying to get out of it.

6. So you've been a NASCAR fan a long, long time?

Adkins: When I moved to Nashville, 19 years ago now, that's when I started to become a NASCAR fan. Because where I came from in northwest Louisiana, NASCAR wasn't something that we followed that closely at the time. To be honest, there were no tracks around us, nowhere to go. So it wasn't that big of a deal to us.

But when I moved to Nashville, that was an eye-opening experience. I had never been anywhere like that, where the fanaticism about it was the level that it was around there. I caught onto it pretty quick ... I think we share a fan base. If I go sing the national anthem at a Major League Baseball game or an NFL game or a college football game, there's a really good chance that there will be a lot of fans in the stands who don't know who I am. But if I go to a NASCAR event, there's just a higher level of recognition because I think the majority of NASCAR fans are also country-music fans.