5 questions with... Garth Brooks
January 10, 2008
Reid Spencer - Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Multiplatinum country music recording artist Garth Brooks appeared Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway to announce his efforts in promoting NASCAR Day, the largest single charitable endeavor in support of the NASCAR Foundation.
Brooks created his own foundation, Teammates for Kids, a decade ago and since has enlisted cooperation from a variety of major professional sports to support health, education and inner-city programs for children. He sees his efforts to promote NASCAR Day as a logical step in the process.
Brooks is married to country music star Trisha Yearwood, and her visit to Kyle and Pattie Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp helped spark the couple's interest in NASCAR and its charities.
Brooks has performed very little since announcing his retirement in October 2000. He agreed to a series of concerts in Kansas City as part of his exclusive distribution deal with Wal-Mart, and he'll do five shows in two days (Jan. 25-26) at Staples Center in Los Angeles in support of wildfire relief efforts. Brooks said there are no current plans for performances in conjunction with the NASCAR Day promotion, but he didn't rule out the possibility.
Q: How did you get involved with the NASCAR Foundation?
A: In our Teammates for Kids program, we work with professional athletes, and NASCAR is definitely one of the programs you want to work with because of the demographics of the athletes. They're very giving. We've been lucky to work with Jeff Gordon's crew -- switch out things for their auctions and our auctions. They're good people. It makes sense to be here.
Q: Do you plan to visit the Victory Junction Gang Camp?
A: Miss Yearwood came back just singing its praises and saying we've got to get out there. So we're going to get out there at some point. I don't know when that is, but I've heard nothing but good about it.
Q: NASCAR has Preseason Thunder and the Chase. You had a No. 1 hit called "The Thunder Rolls" and an album named "The Chase." Did you realize you and NASCAR had so much in common?
A: It's cool, because it's just about entertainment, and (NASCAR drivers) get to do it through athletics, along with technology. That's kind of like our thing, too. Our thing is technology, and if you've ever been to one of our shows, it's just fun -- it's kind of out there, and it's loud. So there are a lot of similarities between the two.
Q: Are you a NASCAR fan?
A: I was never raised up around it, but we went down to Atlanta Motor Speedway to shoot a video with Huey Lewis, and when those cars started going around the track, it's just crawling all over you, and I said, "Oh, my God, I get it!" We're definitely going to get out and see (a race) this year.
Q: You experienced a "ride-around" at Atlanta. What was that like?
A: It was good, but it just beats you to death. I did it for three laps -- and some of these races are 500 laps, or whatever. It's crazy. I don't know how the guys do it.