Four weeks into NASCAR's Chase for the Championship there's still no clear-cut favorite to win the title, but one thing HAS been determined:
Wilson County resident Gretchen Wilson is a winner with the fans.
Gretchen, whose hit song, “Redneck Woman” catapulted her to national fame, agreed to tape some promotional spots to be used during segments of ESPN’s coverage of the 10-race championship battle.
Officials say the response has been excellent, due in part to Wilson's unbridled enthusiasm for the sport.
"I can speak for her enthusiasm first-hand," said ESPN producer Kate Jackson. "She did incredibly well. She has great energy, a great attitude and a great delivery on camera. Her spots turned out great."
The spots were shot in Charlotte during the last week of August. Some were shot at Charlotte Motor Speedway and some at the nearby racing museum of Ray Evernham, an ESPN analyst.
Wilson said her fondness for stock car racing is life-long and genuine.
“I’ve been a racing fan since my uncle ran dirt tracks outside St. Louis,” she said during the taping. "He would let me clean the mud out of the wheel wells with a two-by-four. I thought I was part of the pit crew.”
Four of the 10 Chase races are completed, with race No. 5 Saturday night at Charlotte. The finale is Nov. 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and the battle for the Sprint Cup title is expected to come down to the wire.
“This has already been an exciting season,” said Wilson, “and I think it’s about to get crazy.”
Charlie Daniels to perform: Another Wilson County resident is assisting with an upcoming NASCAR-related event. Famed fiddle player Charlie Daniels is scheduled to perform at the Waltrip Brothers Charity Golf Tournament Oct. 23 in Franklin.
The 4th annual event is hosted by Darrell Waltrip, a retired three-time champion and Fox Sports analyst, and his brother Michael, a semi-retired driver and team owner.
The tournament features sports figures and celebrities from around the country. Proceeds go to various charities.
Superspeedway still silent: Schedules for all three of NASCAR's touring series have been finalized for the 2014 season, and Nashville Superspeedway is not on any of them.
The Gladeville track has held no races for two years, having suspended operation in the wake of weak attendance. The 1.3-mile track is rented occasionally by teams for practice and testing.
Parent company Dover Motorports indicated the Superspeedway is for sale for the right offer, but so far there have been no takers.
Rim running: Highland Rim Speedway will race through October. The Ridgetop track, co-owned by Mt. Juliet's Roger Cunningham, runs races in a variety of divisions. For information, visit the track's website or call 643-8725.
Fairgrounds finale: Nashville's Fairgrounds Speedway will conclude its season with the Nov. 1-2 All-American 400. The race is considered one of the country's premier short-track events. Information is posted on the track website, and also available at 254-1986.