Six Pack of Pop: Disney star Zendaya
November 20, 2013, Holly Cain, NASCAR.com
Versatile 17-year-old enjoys NASCAR experience, has no driver's license
Fans of all ages recognized the national anthem singer, Zendaya, at NASCAR's season finale.
The 17-year-old Californian star on the popular Disney Channel show "Shake It Up" and was last season’s runner-up on "Dancing With The Stars" as the youngest contestant in the show's history.
She recently released her debut self-titled album "Zendaya" and in an interview with NASCAR.com from the Homestead-Miami Speedway infield, the talented young star discussed everything from her diverse fan base, to her first impressions of NASCAR to still needing a driver's license.
What are your impressions of NASCAR race day?
This is my very first NASCAR race and I'm very excited. I'm figuring out how everything works and what's going on. I can barely drive myself. I'm still trying to get my own driver's license.
The reason I don't have a license is I've been so busy. I have to focus on my own racing career here, guys. I don't even know how to drive. Let me get that going first.
On the reaction she receives from fans:
My main fan base is the young ones, kids and teenagers. But recently, I get a lot more attention from the moms and a lot of grandmas. Grandmas are really into "Dancing With The Stars." My grandma has been obsessed with "Dancing With The Stars" for a long time. It's pretty cool. Not long ago I went to a concert and there was an 86-year-old and she didn't want to cut in line to come over and talk to me. She was with her walker and willing to wait.
Were you a racing fan before coming to the track this weekend?
I do not know much about racing and that's why I’m here. I'm excited to meet everyone. Everyone tells me how cool this is and how cool the whole experience is, so I'm so happy to witness it myself finally. Being so young, I don't think many people get this experience.
On performing the national anthem in front of such a large crowd on-site and in the television audience:
It's nerve-wracking every time (you perform), but I feel like if I can dance the Cha-Cha live on TV in front of millions of people, I'm pretty sure I can handle this. (laughing)
What's coming up career-wise for you?
Right now, my album just came out and music is a big focus and I'm travelling around to do radio. Music is a focus now but other projects are definitely in the works. I have lots of stuff to do and lots for me to accomplish.
On being a role model for young fans:
It's pretty cool. I always like to make sure I use whatever influence I have in the most positive way and so, you have to realize who's watching you and it's mostly young ladies. So I never do anything I wouldn't want to see my young nieces do. I want to give them something positive.