GLADEVILLE, Tenn. — Just outside Music City stands the 4-year old Nashville Superspeedway. And it is here on a muggy Saturday (June 7) that NASCAR presented the Trace Adkins Chrome 300 Busch Series race.
It was the last thing Adkins expected when he picked “Chrome” as the title track for his 2001 album.
“It was just because of the song,” Adkins explains, referring to the Top 20 single written by Jeffrey Steele and Anthony Smith. “They contacted us actually and said, ’We want to call the Busch race the Chrome 300.’ I was jumping up and down like a school kid.”
Adkins’ love affair with racing began when he was a school kid. He watched his first stock car race at the Louisiana State Fair Grounds in Shreveport, just a short distance from his hometown of Sarepta, La. And he recently took his family to the Richard Petty Driving Experience in Orlando, Fla. “I got the bug,” he grinned, “but not as bad as my wife.”
For Adkins, the Chrome 300 was an all-day event. The pre-race activities included a concert on the infield. A large crowd of NASCAR and country music fans stood on the bank of the straightaway to hear him perform hits like “Big Time” and his current single, “Then They Do.”
“I didn’t know how much work would be involved in having a race,” he teased in between songs. “I’ll be working in the pits a little later. I’ll be serving refreshments in the suites. And I’ll be here early tomorrow morning picking up the trash. So they got their money’s worth out of me.”
Members of the pit crew joined the audience for the remainder of his set, with several singing along when he closed with “Chrome.” With the stage cleared and the grandstand full, Adkins gave the most anticipated command in racing and the field of 43 gentlemen started their engines. With the roar of the engines combining with the cheer of the crowd, somehow you could still hear the two cannons fire from the infield.
The race itself included 11 cautions and nine lead changes. But at the end of the 225 laps, it was Scott Riggs in the Nestle Nesquick No. 3 car that took the checkered flag.
“It was a lot of fun,” Adkins says from victory lane. “Racing is just an all-American sport, and I’m just proud to be associated with it in some little way.”
Adkins then presents Riggs with one of the more unique trophies in racing: a one-of-a-kind Gibson guitar complete with a stock car painted on the body. As Riggs’ crew gathered around the bright yellow Ford, the new Busch Series point leader addressed the crowd. “You know what my favorite color is, don’t you? Chrome, baby!”