Kasey Kahne believes LiftMaster’s “Garage Band” competition is an important opportunity for aspiring artists to showcase their talent in front of music-loving NASCAR fans.
This is the second year LiftMaster, a sponsor of Kahne and Hendrick Motorsports, has held the competition to bring awareness to up-and-coming musicians.
This year’s competition brought in nearly 1,800 submissions. The final round of voting will open April 18 and run through April 30. The winning band will perform on May 28 at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Coca-Cola 600 race weekend.
Voting can be done HERE.
In addition, one voter will win a trip to the race weekend in Charlotte and will meet Kahne and the winning band. Nashville Crush, an Ohio-based country music group, won the competition last season.
“I think it has been successful for Nashville Crush. They got to perform before the 600-mile race at Charlotte last year and were the opening act for ZZ Top which put them in front of a lot of people,” Kahne told Motorsport.com.
“They also get to meet ZZ Top and you never know what could come from an opportunity like that. It gives the band a chance to get some advice from another musical act, which may lead to something further down the road.
“It’s just kind of like us in racing. Most of the up-and-coming drivers got their next big break by meeting and catching the attention of a driver or team that is at a really high level.”
Kahne believes the contest for LiftMaster makes sense, particularly for NASCAR fans, who generally seem to have an affinity with music and are exposed to it each race weekend, from national anthem performers to artists invited for pre-race concerts.
“They have many different types of music represented in the Garage Band voting process this year – country, rock and pop. I think there is a big connection between NASCAR and music,” Kahne said.
“During pre-race almost every race weekend there is a band performing. If there isn’t a band pre-race, there usually is one throughout the weekend at some point in the infield. I think NASCAR and music really bring people together.”
Kahne, in his fifth season driving the No. 5 Chevrolet for NASCAR’s most successful team owner, Rick Hendrick, says he enjoys meeting fans who are experiencing their first NASCAR race.
“Watching it on TV is one thing, but when you actually take everything in, it’s really surprising to most people. Most sports don’t allow the type of access that NASCAR does,” he said. “As far as people meeting me for the first time, I feel like they either freeze and are afraid to ask me questions or you get the ones that are really inquisitive about how the car works, or what I do away from the track.
“I see myself as just a normal guy, yet they see me in a totally different way. I’m thankful for that though because that means I have fans that support me and they will support these programs like LiftMaster’s Garage Band.”