By LARRY VAUGHT
Being able to headline the concert at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta Saturday before the Quaker State 400 is like a dream come true for country music singer J.D. Shelburne.
“From what I have been told I will even get to ridden the pace car, which will be the first time for me doing that,” said Shelburne during an interview Thursday on WPBK-Fm. “I doubt they would ever give me the keys to drive the pace car even though I would love to do that, too.
“Doing this at the Speedway has always been on my bucket list and they have been great to work with ever since they asked me to headline the race concert. I’ve got some big shoes to fill compared to who they have had before but I’m ready.”
His 90-minute performance starts at 5:30 p.m. Saturday just outside the main entrance.
“We will have the full six-piece band live and rocking,” Shelburne said. “The concert is free. You can come to the concert without having a ticket to the race if you want because it is outside the entrance.
“We have got fans coming from all over the country. We are excited. The weather looks like it will be great and NASCAR fans make great country music fans.”
He hopes to have a special tribute for former UK quarterback Jared Lorenzen, who died last week at age 38. Lorenzen was the quarterback at Kentucky when Shelburne was a UK student.
“I follow Kentucky sports but I had no idea he was in that bad of shape (health-wise),” Shelburne said. “I met him at a couple of remotes. He was always comical and told me he followed my music even though we never really got to talk a lot. But we are about the same age and I just remember he could throw the ball a country mile.”
Shelburne hopes to wear a Lorenzen jersey during his concert. He was searching for one Thursday when Throwboy Tees offered him a T-shirt with Lorenzen’s number and name.
But he wanted a jersey and may have an authentic Lorenzen jersey because my daughter just happened to have two — including one with the sleeves cut in the special way that Lorenzen preferred. It also has grass stain because it was a game jersey.
The only problem is that it is a “bit big” for Shelburne, who is 6-5 but does not approach the 265-pound — or more — playing weight of Lorenzen.
“I want to do something to pay tribute to him. He was a great quarterback and if I can wear a Lorenzen jersey, even for just a few songs, then that is what I want to do,” Shelburne said.