Chase Rice never gave up and kept chasing his dreams, lands “Big One”

Graphic via Chase Rice Facebook Page

Graphic via Chase Rice Facebook Page

So what’s the connection between CBS, UNC, Country Music and NASCAR?

It’s twenty-eight year-old Chase Rice.

Born in Florida on September 19, 1986, son of Daniel and Connie Rice, brother to Chad. Chase was raised in Asheville, North Carolina. He attended AC Reynolds High School and attended UNC at Chapel Hill as the #44 linebacker for the Tar Heels football team from 2005-08. Rice selected the No. 44 because he “always liked linebackers with that number.” (Source:

Rice had torn a tendon in his left ankle in his Junior year of college. He went through rehab and tried to come back hoping to tryout out for the NFL after graduation, but it just wasn’t the same and knew it.

“It was time to move on,” said Rice. That’s when he began to take music more seriously.

Chase Rice La Flor Tribe during the first episode of SURVIVOR. Photo via CBS Survivor

Chase Rice La Flor Tribe during the first episode of SURVIVOR. Photo via CBS Survivor

But then came Survivor: Nicaragua. Rice was selected as a cast member, which premiered on September 15, 2010. At the season finale, the jury chose Jud “Fabio” Birza as the title of Sole Survivor over Rice and Matthew “Sash” Lenahan in a 5–4–0 vote.  (As a side note for a little giggle, on this season of Survivor, there was a contestant named Jimmy Johnson, from Tallahassee, Fla. Unfortunately, Johnson was 3rd to be voted out on Day 8.) [You will understand this note as you continue reading!]

Chase Rice has come to the realization over a weekend visit that “life is extra twangy in Nashville” and that’s where he belongs. Rice moved to Music City in late 2010 to focus on Country music and to make his dream a reality and rented a house with buddies Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley – aka as Florida Georgia Line.

Rice sets that his father was his inspiration for his country career, recalling that his father once told him” anyone can play guitar, but no one is gonna really listen to you until you start singing.”

Back in April 2012, Rice’s Dirt Road Communion was released by his label, Dack Janiels and debuted on the Billboard Country Albums at #48 (go figure!) [You will understand as you continue reading!] chart and was the number six download on iTunes for that week.

And in no way did his appearance on CBS’s Survivor: Nicaragua help to launch his Country music career.

Only after Rice co-wrote “Cruise,” the No. 1 smash hit by Florida Georgia Line with a college room-mate, did his career start taking off. “Cruise,” the first single for Florida Georgia Line, reached #1 on the Country Airplay chart on December 15, 2012.  A remix of “Cruise” featuring Nelly later hit number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song went on to spend 24 weeks at number 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, setting a record for the longest stay at number 1 in the chart’s 70-year history, and was also ranked as the number one country single of 2013 by Billboard. [Source: Bing]

Rice’s newest album IGNITE THE NIGHT was released on October 15, 2013 and the single Ready Set Roll, became an instant hit. On January 29, 2014, the official Ready Set Roll music video premiered exclusively on CMT.

Ok, so by now I bet you are wondering why am I telling you about a Country singer and a college football linebacker?  What’s the catch?

Well, if you know me, you should know that there has to be a tie-in with racing if I am to write about it… at least somewhere, no matter how big or small.

So, here it is for those of you who did not know:

After graduating from UNC with a double degree in Management and Communications, Rice was selected to join the NASCAR Pit Crews for Ryan Newman and Jimmie Johnson. Rice worked a few years as a rear-ire carrier and was part of the crew for two championships with the Lowe’s team.

“There’s something awesome about being at the track that I just can’t explain,” said Rice. “But I knew that my dream was to be a musician. I worked there for a few years, and then decided to follow yet another dream.”

Wow, so how cool is THAT?

I would also like to do a special shout-out that Chase Rice will be performing at the House of Blues, Orlando, FL (my home town) on Oct. 16th and I will be there!

And who knows, if you don’t see Chase on stage in some city, you may very well see him at a NASCAR track near you!

Stewart out at Bristol; Burton returns as Interim Driver for No. 14 team

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KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (Aug. 20, 2014) – Tony Stewart has decided not to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event this weekend at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

Veteran driver Jeff Burton, a winner of 21 Sprint Cup races, will pilot the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing in place of Stewart for the second straight week. Burton subbed for Stewart last weekend at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Burton has 40 Sprint Cup starts at Bristol, which includes a victory in the 2008 Food City 500.

This driver change pertains only to Bristol. Stewart’s plans for upcoming Sprint Cup races have yet to be determined.

Source: SHR Press Release

Joe Gibbs Racing announce Carl Edwards, Daniel Suarez to 2015 driver line-up

CARL EDWARDSJoe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced today that Carl Edwards will join the organization in 2015 to compete full time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

In addition, ARRIS Group, Inc. will sponsor Edwards in the No. 19 Toyota Camry for 17 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with JGR expanding its operations to include a fourth team.

Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) also announced today that driver Daniel Suarez will join the

JGR NNS driver Daniel Suarez. Photo via Joe Gibbs Racing

JGR NNS driver Daniel Suarez. Photo via Joe Gibbs Racing

organization in 2015 to compete full time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

In addition, ARRIS Group, Inc. will also support Suarez in a multi-year program, starting with the 2015 NASCAR Nationwide Series, as well as a partial schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Suarez is currently competing full time for Escuderia TELMEX in the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series, where he leads that series, and also competes in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Rev Racing Team in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. He has four wins and six top-five finishes in 10 starts in the NASCAR Toyota Series and has added two wins, four top-five and seven top-10 finishes this season in 12 K&N Pro Series starts. Suarez made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut with JGR earlier this season at Richmond International Raceway with a 19th-place finish.

Greg Biffle’s take on sponsor 3M moving to Hendrick Motorsports in 2015

RFR No. 16 3M driver Greg Biffle drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

RFR No. 16 3M driver Greg Biffle drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

We all heard, read about it. After  a 10-year sponsorship commitment, 3M announced that it will be leaving RFR’s No. 16 team at the end of the 2014 season and moving over to Hendrick Motorsports for a three-year deal. 3M and it’s brands will be the primary sponsor of the No. 24 Chevy of Jeff Gordon.

Here’s a excerpt of the teleconference with Roush-Fenway Racing’s No. 16 driver, Greg Biffle regarding the move:

Q: Not to continue on kind of a non-positive theme, but obviously with the 3M sponsorship

The No. 16 3M Pit Bulls get ready for a pit stop at the Monster Mile. Photo by Sandi Goodall/

The No. 16 3M Pit Bulls get ready for a pit stop at the Monster Mile. Photo by Sandi Goodall/

this week, were you aware of how that was going to go, and can you give us any update from your end what you guys might be looking at?

GB:  First of all, I have to say, 3M has been a great partner, and I’ve created so many friendships over there besides – I’ve said for a long time, they’re like family.  They’re not like a sponsor.  You know, it’s been a great 10 years we’ve had together.

Management changes, things change.  This sport is a business.  We all know that in business there’s decisions to make, and so I’ve known for a while that they were not coming back to the 16 car, and so that’s obviously a business thing on their end, and we will miss them.

Since then we’ve obviously been working on sponsorship, and I’m really excited that – it’s a bittersweet ending but new, greener pastures, I think, on the other side.  We’ve got a great partnership that we’re going to announce in the next three or four weeks.  Like I tweeted, I’d like to announce it today right now on this call because I’m really excited about it, but in due time.  The silly things like contracts need to be finalized first, which is important.  But we’re excited about the future.  We really are.  We’ve got a few partners moving forward that is going to be a great thing for the 16 car.

On top of that, I appreciate the support from all the fans of the 16 team and all the 3M employees.  They’ve been behind this program forever, and like I said, I made a lot of friendships, and those will remain, without a doubt, moving forward.

Source: NASCAR Media Transcript

NASCAR Formalizes On-Track Incident Procedure For Competitors


In its continued efforts to evolve the safety of its sport, NASCAR announced Friday that it will add a rule that addresses on-track incidents as part of its race procedures. The rule, listed as Section 9-16, will be an addendum to the NASCAR rule book and will apply to all of its racing series, effective immediately.

Section 9-16 On-Track Incident Procedure
During an Event, if a racecar is involved in an on-track incident and/or is stopped on or near the racing surface and unable to continue to make forward progress, unless extenuating emergency conditions exist with the racecar (i.e. fire, smoke in cockpit, etc.) the driver should take the following steps:
·         Shut off electrical power and, if driver is uninjured, lower window net
·         Do not loosen, disconnect or remove any driver personal safety equipment until directed to do so by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
·         After being directed to exit the racecar, the driver should proceed to either the ambulance, other vehicle, or as otherwise directed by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
·         At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach any portion of the racing surface or apron
·         At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach another moving vehicle
All vehicles not involved in the incident or that are able to continue afterwards should slow down to a cautious speed as outlined in Section 10-4 (Yellow Flag), use extreme care as they approach an incident scene, and follow any directions given by safety personnel or NASCAR/Track Officials. Cars in line behind the safety car should not weave or otherwise stray from the line in the vicinity of the incident.
Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition and racing development, says the rule is “part of the evolution of NASCAR’s rules and regulations.”
“Throughout the history of our sport, NASCAR has reviewed and analyzed situations and occurrences that take place not just in NASCAR racing but also throughout all motorsports and other sports,” said Pemberton. “When we believe we can do something to make our sport safer and better for the competitors and others involved in the competition environment, we react quickly. Safety always has been priority number one at NASCAR.”
As with other behavioral infractions, NASCAR will handle each instance separately when assessing potential penalties.

One NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team receives penalty; One team receives warning following Watkins Glen


The No. 4 (Kevin Harvick; SHR) team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has been penalized due to a rules infraction committed during the Aug. 10 race at Watkins Glen International.

The infraction is a P3 level penalty and is outlined in Section 12-4.3 of the 2014 rule book:

·         A. Violation examples could include but are not limited to:
o    1(c): Unapproved added weight and/or weight affixed improperly (e.g. Unapproved added weight (size and material); unapproved added weight location, but not of a nature rising to a higher numbered penalty.

The infraction violates the following sections in the rule book:

·         12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing;
·         20-2.3: Added car weight
o    A. Any weight added to the car must be bolted inside the body shell in an approved weight container and in a position acceptable to NASCAR officials
o    Added weight must be in block form of not less than five pound blocks (no pellets) and painted white with the car number or team identification permanently legible on it.

As a result of this violation, crew chief Rodney Childers has been fined $25,000.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Per Section 12-4.1 of the NASCAR rule book, a Warning has been issued to the No. 98 team for an infraction occurring on Aug. 8. The infraction was:

·         20-16.6: Fuel filler cans
o    G. When adding or removing fuel to/from the car in the garage area, the car must be outside the garage structure.

Multiple warnings issued to the same vehicle number/member within a given time period will result in one or more penalties in accordance to Section 12-4.1 of the rule book.

NASCAR Press Release

Update regarding investigation into death of Kevin Ward, Jr.

Press Release from Ontario County Sheriff’s Department

The investigation into the death of Kevin Ward, Jr., of Lewis County, N.Y., is ongoing and is expected to continue for at least another two weeks or more. Investigators continue to seek witnesses, gather evidence, and develop the racetrack crash reconstruction. However, it would be inappropriate to discuss details or findings of the investigation with the media at this time. I would like to thank everyone for their cooperation as the Ontario County Office of Sheriff continues this investigation and for having patience as we conduct a thorough review of all of the relevant facts involving this tragic accident. When the investigation is completed, we will meet with members of the Ontario County District Attorney’s Office and discuss with them all aspects of the investigation into the crash that occurred on August 9, 2014 at the Canandaigua Speedway. At that time, more information relating to any determinations that have been made may be released. In closing, on behalf of the Ontario County Office of Sheriff, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family of Kevin Ward, Jr.

Philip C. Povero
Ontario County Sheriff


Results from accident:  Brewerton Speedway and Fulton Speedway in New York State announced in a release that drivers will now be be required to stay in their cars during an accident. If a driver were to exit the car during a yellow, the race would be placed under a red flag, and the penalty could include a fine or suspension.

There’s gonna be a party at RIR and race fans are invited!

Fed_AutoParts_400_RIR_CRace fans planning to attend RIR’s Federated Auto Parts 400 on September 6th can celebrate NASCAR-style after the checkered flag flies to conclude “One Last Race to Make The Chase”.

If you’re a fan, you’re invited to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Post-Race Party on the Track, featuring a DJ spinning festive tunes that NASCAR fans will enjoy as they party on the pavement. Show us your best “Robot”, “Running Man”, “Dougie”, or “Shopping Cart” moves on the frontstretch under the lights. But leave your party shoes on because your fun continues with a prime spot to see the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup celebration.

While the party is cranking into high gear, the 16 drivers who raced their way into the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will be introduced on stage, followed by a photo opportunity and a confetti celebration…and you’ll have a prime spot to see it live.

Tickets for the September 6, Federated Auto Parts 400, are on sale NOW. Visit or call 866-455-7223 for tickets and information.

3M moves to Jeff Gordon as Primary Sponsor starting 2015

3M will join 11-time Sprint Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports beginning with the 2015 NASCAR season when it will become a primary sponsor of driver Jeff Gordon and his No. 24 Chevrolet SS team.

The new relationship will feature 3M as a primary sponsor in 11 Sprint Cup races annually and as an associate-level partner in all other events. The agreement covers the 2015, 2016 and 2017 NASCAR seasons.

All five of 3M’s business units, which comprise more than $31 billion in annual sales, will use the sponsorship in consumer promotions, product launches and business-to-business opportunities.

With more than 65 of its products used in the construction and maintenance of Sprint Cup Series race cars, 3M for decades has played a key role in the success of NASCAR teams. The company manufactures more than 80,000 different products and has been an official NASCAR partner across several categories since 1995.

One of the most accomplished drivers in NASCAR history, Gordon is a four-time Cup Series champion, and his 90 victories rank third on the all-time wins list. Currently second in points, he has two victories, one pole position, seven top-five finishes and 15 top-10s in 22 Sprint Cup races this season.

“Innovation is what 3M is known for,” said Gordon, 43, who has a lifetime contract with Hendrick Motorsports. “We’ve seen that approach throughout their involvement in NASCAR, and it’s a terrific fit for what we do at Hendrick Motorsports and with the No. 24 team. I’m personally excited about the opportunities and thrilled to represent a company that’s so passionately supported auto racing for such a long time.”

Statement from Tony Stewart

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., (Aug. 10, 2014) – The following is a statement from Tony Stewart regarding the fatal accident last night during the sprint car feature at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park involving Kevin Ward Jr.

“There aren’t words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr. It’s a very emotional time for all involved, and it is the reason I’ve decided not to participate in today’s race at Watkins Glen. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy.”

Source: SHR PR