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Six Pack of Pop: Sheryl Crow

August 28, 2013, Holly Cain, NASCAR.com

Grammy winner discusses her fondness for NASCAR and what drivers she roots for

Nine-time Grammy Award-winning musician Sheryl Crow says NASCAR races feel a bit like home for her. The Nashville resident played a pre-race concert in the Daytona International Speedway infield in front of a packed house and enthusiastic crowd awaiting the start of the Coke Zero 400 last month.

Before the show Crow stopped by to talk about her love of fast cars, motherhood and a special friendship and kinship she feels with some of Sprint Cup Series’ best.

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On her fondness for NASCAR:

I love NASCAR and have followed it for years. I’ve always had a particular fondness for the Earnhardts and had Dale Jr. in my Steve McQueen video. “We love participating in NASCAR events. I was always particularly impressed with how close the families are. The first time I went to a NASCAR event I believe it might have been Talladega, and got to go the prayer service. It has always been an impressive sport to me in that it’s very family oriented. We’re thrilled to be here and been following it all year. “We feel like it’s one of the coolest sports and definitely represents what I love most which is family and prayer.  

On the reception in the garage:

I got to meet Carl Edwards who is a home state driver and also from my alma mater, the University of Missouri. He’s also a former substitute school teacher and I’m a former school teacher so we had quite a lot in common and he seems like a great guy.    

On who she tends to pull for:

I’m always partial to Dale Jr. and I’d love to see Carl Edwards do well. I’m also pulling for Danica Patrick. I’d love to see her have a great race. I was following a little bit about what Kyle Petty said (earlier in the season) and I saw Tony Stewart stick up for her and I do feel like for someone who didn’t have as many hours behind the wheel on these big NASCAR tracks that she’s done us females proud, real proud.

On performing in this unique venue:

It’s exciting for me to be here because I have followed the sport and I have some good friends in the sport. I know Jeff Gordon and I’ve met Tony Stewart a couple times. It’s always fun to play for big crowds and this for me is a lot like our country fan base. They are very loyal people and country artists show up for their fans and NASCAR fans are similar, they root for their drivers and it’s a big commitment. They show up, they camp out, they party, it’s a big celebration, so it’s always fun to play for audiences like that, that are geared up to have a great time, to be entertained, to be excited.  

On the similarities between what motivates her in her career and what drives NASCAR’s stars:

I feel like everyone on the track is in it for more than the trophies, just like I am as a musician. I love what I do and wouldn’t do it if I didn’t. It takes a lot of work to be on the road and being away from home and these guys that are doing it, their families are supporting them. .. they aren’t doing just for the money or the trophies. They are doing it because it’s a lifelong dream they’ve worked hard at. And they feel their best race is right in front of them. That’s how I feel about music.  

On her love of speed and passing that down to her sons:

I feel certain that one of my two sons is going to be a fast driver whether I like it or not. I take responsibility for that because I really like to drive fast. I have a 1964 Corvette. I love it. I grew up on motor cross bikes. My first car was a Z28 with headers and cherry bombs all over it. But nobody told me I had to change the oil in it (laughing) and then I had to buy a new short block a year after I drove it in college. What kid in America doesn’t want to own a hot rod and drive fast and I imagine one of my two kids will be that kid. One is a little safer and will probably be a drummer but the other one might be a race car driver.’

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