Six Pack of Pop: Willie Robertson
June 13, 2013, NASCAR.com
'Duck Dynasty' star gave invocation prior to Coca-Cola 600
The star of “Duck Dynasty” on A&E, Willie Robertson presents a persona unique to the world of reality television. He puts his family and faith first.
Maybe that’s why he’s such a NASCAR fan.
In fact, a previous episode of his immensely popular television show had NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Clint Bowyer -- driving a camouflaged limousine -- hanging out with the crew in West Monroe, La. Naturally, they managed to get a race in, too.
Robertson, who also helped NASCAR and the speedway in a special presentation to the troops, addressed the media prior to running of the 600.
I know you’ve been to a few of these NASCAR races before. Why don’t you tell us about the connection you feel like your fans of the show have with NASCAR.
Well, I definitely think it’s the same kind of fan. Just, good-old family values, that’s what our show’s about. In NASCAR, you come out here and enjoy a good day at the race. It’s quite an honor to be at Charlotte, especially with the efforts with the troops. What an honor. I got off that plane and went about 150 mph right into it. I’m revved up for the race.
I think our show certainly hits a nerve out there with people who like watching programing the whole family can sit down and watch, and hopefully we’ll see more shows like that in the future.
For anybody that watches the show, you know they always close out the show with a family dinner, and with prayer. Why is that Christian value so important to your family and what that show represents?
Well, it was going to be impossible to separate that from a show, especially if it’s a reality show about us. It was a small thing. It’s not the biggest thing in the world, it’s not “The 700 Club,” but that’s just how we end the show, to say "no matter what happens during the day, we always come back together." And it ends right there. I think a lot of reality TV shows out there right now are just such train wrecks, so it’s nice to see everyone get along and laugh.
You can imagine if you ran a business with your family, especially me being the CEO and I’m the third in line as far as sons go. So everyone working for me, it does get challenging at times. But it’s a lot of fun. It was good seeing Clint (Bowyer) in a camouflage limo. He and I got after it and raced. That was a great show, too, and we certainly saw the fans of both (the TV show and NASCAR) come together and watch.
Are you surprised at all by the popularity of that show? Did you think originally it was something that was never going to work?
That was my father. He’s the one who said it would never work. I don’t think you start out anything wanting to be mediocre, wanting to fail, and it had been successful on the Outdoor Channel. When you’re in it, it’s hard to see it. My wife would always say "Y’all aren’t normal, and people would like seeing how you guys interact." To the level that it did (become popular)? Yeah, I mean I’m shocked. To be the No. 1 show on TV this year reality-wise, yeah that’s crazy. The good Lord has been taking us this far, so we give him all the credit for it because we certainly didn’t do everything right.
Can you tell us a little bit about your past as far as watching sports and NASCAR and what got you into it?
Yeah, I’ve always kind of been a sports guy. When we started getting a little more famous and meeting people, that’s the way sports are for me now. Now that I know people, I watch things totally different. It’s really just following people and seeing how they do. NASCAR’s the same. As I meet different guys, I pull for them to do well and when they do, I’ll give them a call and congratulate them.
Anybody in particular you’re pulling for?
I guess Clint. I need to see him get a good victory since he can say he’s on ‘Duck Dynasty.’ I didn’t have a trophy for that, though. I’ll have to get him one.
Have you ever wanted to get in one of these stock cars and challenge Clint on the race track, maybe see what you could to?
You have to let people do what they’re good at. I’ll keep selling these duck callers and let these boys keep running this fast.