Claremore Daily Progress


May 6, 2014

Country singer Brantley Gilbert 'doing the double'

INDIANAPOLIS — Turns out Kurt Busch isn't the only one doing the double Memorial Day weekend.

Country music star Brantley Gilbert is planning to attend the Indianapolis 500 on May 25 as part of the sponsorship of 19-year-old Sage Karam, and then hop a flight to Charlotte in time to perform a pre-race concert for the Sprint Cup race that night.

''I think my label's goal and my management's goal the whole week is they're legitimately trying to kill me,'' Gilbert told The Associated Press on Monday. ''But if I sat down for 5 minutes without anything to do, I'd lose my mind. That's kind of how we roll.''

Big Machine Label Group has a longstanding relationship with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. So as part of the release of Gilbert's latest album, ''Just As I Am,'' the label is planning a marathon day at the races that will make Gilbert hard to miss.

Along with landing his likeness on Karam's IndyCar and the No. 1 Chevrolet driven by Jamie McMurray for the Sprint Cup race, the country crooner will also be featured in some fashion on IndyCars driven by defending champion Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball, Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe, and an entry in the Nationwide race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

''This is just the perfect way to finish up our week,'' Big Machine President Scott Borchetta told AP. ''It's just a great way to tie everything together.''

Gilbert's third studio album hits stores May 19, and he'll be promoting it with a six-day motorcycle ride that starts two days later in Athens, Georgia. The ride continues with stops in South Carolina and North Carolina before finishing at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.

Of course, with a slight detour to Indianapolis.

Gilbert is partnering on the ride with The Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides support for the families of soldiers killed or disabled in service.

''I'm a huge supporter of our military, and Memorial Day's been an important day for me for quite a while,'' he said. ''What better place to finish than Arlington?''

Gilbert also has been a big NASCAR fan for years, and has attended several Brickyard 400s. But he's never been to an IndyCar race, and the winner of the Academy of Country Music's New Male Artist award marveled at the speed Monday after watching Karam turn a few laps.

''I knew my name was going to be on the car but I didn't know my face was going to be on it,'' Gilbert said with a laugh. ''Pretty good to know the car is going to be going 230 mph.''

Gilbert was also impressed by Karam, the reigning Indy Lights champion, who is skipping his senior prom in Pennsylvania to attempt to qualify at Indy.

''I'm telling you what, man, that guy can drive the hell out of that car,'' Gilbert said. ''It was awesome to watch. To be so young, I didn't know what to expect.''

If nothing else, Karam should feel good about the sponsorship: Big Machine was also involved with winning cars driven by Dan Wheldon in 2011 and Dario Franchitti in 2012.

''It's not often you get to work with someone like Brantley Gilbert, who is not only a race fan but also has plenty of fans in racing,'' Chip Ganassi Racing President Steve Lauletta said. ''Memorial Day weekend will be a fun time for all of us.''


Text Only
  • DSC_0111web.jpg ‘Team behind the Team’

    For the second-straight year, the Claremore Zebra student training staff will be represented in the Oklahoma Coaches All-State games held in Tulsa.
    Meranda Golbek and Sarah Szcinski, a pair of 2014 Claremore High School graduates, earned All-State honors for their athletic training careers and will join two other student trainers from Jenks and Stillwater High School on the East squad.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • FISHFRYweb.jpg Claremore QB Club holds Fish Fry Aug. 2

    The Claremore Zebra Quarterback Club will hold its annual Fish Fry fundraiser on Aug. 2 at the Claremore High School cafeteria.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blackmon a 'big deal' for the wrong reasons

    The sports world is littered with gifted athletes whose self-destructive tendencies derailed what should have been promising careers. Ex-Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon appears to be on that well-worn path with his latest arrest.

    July 27, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Three Rivers Bandits notch 8th-straight win

    The Three Rivers Bandits seem to be getting hot when they need to be, heading into next week’s state tournament.

    The Bartlesville Indians were victims of the heat as the Bandits swept a doubleheader from them, 2-0 and then 9-2, on Saturday at Connors State College for their eighth straight win.

    July 27, 2014

  • TCU's Fields surrenders to misdemeanor warrant

    TCU defensive end Devonte Fields has surrendered to authorities on a misdemeanor assault warrant.

    That's after TCU suspended the defensive standout earlier this week amid allegations he punched an ex-girlfriend in the head and threatened her with a gun while shouting, "I should blast you!"

    July 27, 2014

  • College football workouts not for the meek

    The massive men ran from one station to the next, barely taking a second to catch their breath between rounds of sit-ups, push-ups and throwing weighted balls against a wall.

    July 27, 2014

  • Utah QB Wilson cited on alcohol charge

    Utah quarterback Travis Wilson has been cited at a concert on a charge of possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor.

    July 27, 2014

  • NFL: Eagles dealing with suspension of ex-Sooner OL Lane Johnson

    Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly opened training camp Saturday dealing with an issue he never faced before — one of his top players being suspended.

    Right tackle Lane Johnson, Kelly's first opening-round draft pick and the fourth overall pick of the 2013 draft will miss the first four games of the 2014 season after testing positive for a banned substance.

    July 27, 2014

  • NFL: Browns fans flock to see Johnny Football

    There were No. 2 jerseys everywhere, ringing the practice fields in various shapes, sizes and colors.

    On the first day of training camp, Browns fans came out by the thousands, many of them to get their first live look at the popular and polarizing quarterback who electrified college football and who may one day lead Cleveland back to pro football glory.

    They all came to see Johnny Manziel.

    July 27, 2014

  • Manziel's day at Browns camp

    A look at Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel's day at training camp.

    July 27, 2014