Unchaining the Racetrack Trains

| April 07, 2005

“You’re talking about a pit stop where it’s going to take about half the normal time to take on fuel, so I anticipate a lot of two-tire stops. I don’t know if there’ll ever be an answer on how to make restrictor-plate racing safer, but I have to applaud NASCAR because they’re definitely working on this, and this is one of the ways it shows.”

The rule change will make things much tougher on the pit crews, and Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge driver Casey Atwood said that’ll be where races are won or lost.

“There’ll be a lot more pit stops and the crews will have to stay focused a lot more because if you’re a second off, you could lose the draft,” he said.

Home Depot Pontiac driver Tony Stewart looks forward to having some breathing room on the track thanks to the fuel cells.

“Hopefully it’ll get us in a situation where we can string the cars out a little more and everyone won’t be so tight on each other,” he said. “That’ll give us an opportunity to move around on the race track a little more. The racing will still be good, because by being in smaller packs we can actually feel like we’re racing instead of just getting stuck in line and hoping that the line you’re in goes faster than the one next to you.”


Sheryl Crow’s largest crowd was at a NASCAR event.

She can belt out rock or the blues with the best of them, then slow things down with a ballad. Of course, when you’ve worked with both the Rolling Stones and
Stevie Nicks, it helps to be versatile.

Sheryl Crow is just that, and last October the female rocker performed in front of the largest crowd of her career prior to the running of the EA SPORTS 500. More than 150,000 fans were on hand for the NASCAR Winston Cup event, but before the gentlemen started their engines, Crow revved them up with a three-song set.

Opening with her first hit, “All I Wanna Do,” she followed with “Soak Up the Sun” from her C’mon, C’mon album, and she closed with “Steve McQueen” – her most recent hit that now has a NASCAR connection since Dale Earnhardt Jr. appears in the video.

Crow has attended three live NASCAR races, and plans to see many more in person.

“I grew up in southern Missouri, so I pretty much grew up on NASCAR,” Crow said. “I watched it on TV a lot when I was younger, and now I’m finally getting to go to the races.”

Crow was nurtured in a musical environment. Her parents were big band musicians, and she started taking piano lessons at age 6. She continued to hone her craft in her teens, and once Crow graduated high school in Kennett, Mo., she moved to St. Louis in order to launch a singing career.

It began with R&B covers, and in the 1980s, Crow finally broke into the paying side of the industry, singing backup for artists such as George Harrison, Joe Cocker, Stevie Wonder and Rod Stewart.

In 1993, the sultry performer decided to break out on her own, utilizing her skills as both a singer and songwriter. The result was Tuesday Night Music Club, an album with heavy blues influences that featured her first hit, “All I Wanna Do.”

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