Session Four:Brian Scott, Justin Allgaier, Kate & Kacey, Morgan Shepherd
For the past four years, this two-day fan event featuring some of the top names in country music and NASCAR has attracted an estimated 40,000 fans and has raised more than $800,000 for Victory Junction (a year-round camping experience founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty for children, ages 6-16, with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses) and the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum.
On Saturday, Jan. 9th fans of racing and country music had the opportunity to get up-close and personal with drivers and country music stars at Nashville's Municipal Auditorium for autographs and question-and-answer sessions. NASCAR stars Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Michael Waltrip, Clint Bowyer, Reed Sorenson, David Stremme, Aric Almirola, Justin Allgaier, Kyle Petty, Michael Annett, Carl Edwards, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch, James Buescher, Brad Kesolowski, Logan Ruffin, Brian Scott and Morgan Shepherd joined country music stars Chris Young, Jason Michael Carroll, Josh Turner, members of Diamond Rio, Danny Gokey, Danielle Peck, Corey Smith, Ashton Shepherd, Brady Seals, Nathan Lee Jackson, and duo Kate & Kacey.
Behind the scenes, media also has an opportunity to visit with the participants in Q & A (Question and Answer) interview sessions throughout the event.
Q: Morgan, how do you look forward to 2010 and 2011 with a new car company, realizing you been working with Johnny Davis on that car. How much of a struggle is it for you as an owner of small, limited funded team, is that new car going to affect you?
Morgan: I found it is like anything in life. You have to have a passion for it first of all and you have to have determination. We operate with a very small amount of money, the race fans help us. Tony Stuart helped us last year but he won’t be able to do it this year. He bought us tires before. We are going to go out every time with the same goal of making every race. Where there is a will, there is a way. We have the will and we will find the way.
Q: Morgan, why is a seasoned veteran driver like yourself and other veteran drivers having a hard time finding jobs, race seats and top notch equipment?
Morgan: First of all, the people want the young drivers because they are going to be here a long time and they are the ones that your big companies are trying to promote. There are people that support us, too. It seems like we should be able to get a vitamin sponsor or Geritol. Anyway, everything is pointed toward the young people and that is the way it should be. We’re here to encourage other people; you’re not dead after you are 50 years old. We encourage people to get up off their couch and do something with your life; that’s what I am about.
Q: Morgan, for someone that has such an impressive resume as yourself and other drivers to have impressive resumes, why was there a rush to get a new hotshot young gun driver?
Morgan: I don’t have that answer. That is just part of life whether it is racing, boxing or basketball or football. There is a time that you are not going to be as good as you were when you started. With our sport and the safety of it with race cars, as long as you have good reflexes and determination, you can do it; I think I have proven that. Some people get burned out with what they are doing but I have never felt like I was doing something I didn’t want to do. I have never felt I didn’t want to work on a racecar. I really don’t know how many race car drivers would be up there if they had to do it our way because I still work on my race car, sometimes all night. We drive across country where some guys get in airplanes and fly back and forth. It’s determination and that is what I have and keeps me here.
Brian: The important thing is to remember the legacy of Morgan Shepherd. He paved the way for us younger drivers and helped shape NASCAR into what it is today.
Q: Kate and Kacey, congratulations on signing to Big Machine Records. Who is your producer there?
Kate and Kacey: We have worked with several producers in the past year on different tracks. Mostly, whoever we wrote the song with, we would go in the studio with them and record it. Right now we are working with Danny Myrick. He is a songwriter that wrote “She’s Country” for Jason Aldean and he has the new Gloriana single. He wrote our single and a bunch of other songs with us and we are looking forward to going into the studio with him and really focusing on what the three of us do together.
Q: Brian, you are coming on full time with Nationwide and looking to have some success. What can you take from the brief experiences from last year or your truck experiences to possibly get you “rooky of the year” and maybe a top five finish at the end of the year?
Brian: Hopefully I can take the experience and a little bit of respect from the other drivers in the Nationwide series. Hopefully they feel a little more comfortable with what I did. I hope to have a little more familiarity with the vehicles, the equipment, the length of races. The equipment is different in the truck series than the Nationwide car. The aerodynamics is very different, so just figuring out all the million little things a driver has to do in a race to make it look so simple on TV. Hopefully, I have a little bit of an edge. I will have a new crew and some new equipment. I did four races with ***** racing, I have some familiarity with their equipment. They are changing their Toyota Camry around, changing their aerodynamics, making their programs better. I know they are taking steps forward and I am excited to get back with the crew chief. There might be some familiar faces, two of the guys that were on my truck team are coming; one is an interior guy and that is incredibly important for the driver. I will have that peace of mind knowing that that part is taken care of. All I have to do it strap myself in and go as fast as I can go.
Kerry: Thank you all for being here.
Transcribed by Pam Stadel