Carl Edwards adds new ‘Crue’ member to No. 99 team: Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil

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We all know about crew members on race teams, but NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Carl Edwards added a new “Crue” member to the team this past weekend at Las Vegas.

While we never pictured Edwards to be a head-banging metal head when it comes to his taste in rock music, the Columbia, Mo., native spent the weekend with a true-to-life metal head that is also quite the gear head.

Vince Neil, lead singer of legendary heavy metal/hair band Motley Crue, hung out with Edwards throughout the Kobalt 400 weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“It was cool to have Vince Neil with us last weekend at the track,” said Mike Lingerfelt, front tire changer for the No.99 Ford. “Besides being a talented musician, he is a great person and fun to hang out with.”

Neil made quite the impression on Edwards, who will use Motley Crue’s “Kickstart My Heart” as the music to be played when he’s introduced in pre-race ceremonies at this Sunday’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. It’s a tradition at BMS that drivers pick a favorite song to be played when they’re acknowledged to the fans.

Neil, who dabbled in the IndyLights series as a racer himself in the early 1990s, shadowed Edwards and the No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing team, along with comedian Carrot Top.

Now, there’s a trio that is a motley crew, indeed. But we digress.

Among the “duties” Neil, a Las Vegas resident, performed were accompanying Edwards to meet with fans at the Sprint Experience, had pre-race lunch with the team, took part in a pit crew strategy meeting, attended the pre-race driver’s meeting and introductions, and then watched from Edwards’ pit as Cousin Carl cruised (sorry, we couldn’t avoid that entendre) to a strong fifth-place finish.

After all, would you really expect an iconic rock star to get his hands dirty and change tires or something?

Motley Crue, or “‘Da Crue,” as fans like to call them, are preparing to embark upon their final concert tour together after more than a 30-year run. The band has sold more than 80 million albums and CDs in their lengthy career. The aptly-named “Final Tour” starts July 2 in Grand Rapids, Mich., and will crisscross the U.S. before continuing internationally into 2015.

Check out Neil talking about Edwards using “Kickstart My Heart” at Bristol in the brief video below:

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MRTI: Barber Recap

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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The weekend at Barber Motorsports Park for the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires was a tale of two completely different days.

Saturday was a picturesque Spring day for Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, with bright sunshine and temperatures above 70 degrees. Sunday, however, was much cooler and wetter, with rain hitting both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights races.

Still, the packed weekend for both series produced plenty of drama, and each now sees its championship picture beginning to take shape.

Major stories to surface from the weekend at Barber for both series are below.

Indy Lights

  • Pato O’Ward has been, by a considerable margin, the fastest driver after four races in 2018. A winner of three races – which easily could be four if not for a mistake while leading Race 2 in St. Petersburg – and a polesitter for two, O’Ward has asserted himself as the early-season man to beat in the title chase, leading Santi Urrutia with 110 points to 94. O’Ward already has big-league championship to his name – he was a co-champion of the Prototype Challenge class in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship last year, and he is poised to add to that in 2018.
  • Victor Franzoni is starting to get his arms around the IL-15. Last year’s Pro Mazda champion gets better with every race, and he earned his first Indy Lights podium in Race 2 at Barber, finishing second. It would hardly be a surprise if Franzoni breaks into the win column soon.
  • Aaron Telitz’s run of hard luck continued in Race 1 on Saturday, as he was collected by a spinning Dalton Kellett and retired from the race with a damaged right-front. That meant through three races, Telitz had completed a combined four corners. Race 2 finally produced a clean day for the 2016 Pro Mazda champion, as he ran all the laps on his way to finishing fourth.
  • Colton Herta scored a double-podium at Barber, with finishes of second and third. Sitting on 83 points, he is 19 back of leader O’Ward. He’ll need to break into the win column to make up ground, but consistently finishing on the podium will also help his efforts, and prevent O’Ward from making big leaps away from him.

Pro Mazda

  • Although he might be disappointed to miss out on sweeping the weekend, Parker Thompson has lots of reasons to smile leaving Barber, as he overtook Rinus VeeKay for the championship lead by four points, 102 to 98. Thompson has had two strong weekends to open the Pro Mazda season, with finishes of second, fifth, first, and second after four races. He and VeeKay have emerged as possible title combatants after the opening two weekends.
  • Speaking of VeeKay, the 17-year-old Dutchman had a quiet weekend at Barber, with finishes of fourth and fifth after lacking pace in qualifying – he qualified seventh and ninth for Race 1 and Race 2. After dominating at St. Pete, VeeKay’s lack of pace was somewhat puzzling, though it could be indicative of a Pro Mazda field that is deep with talent. Expect him to rebound at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course in May.
  • Oliver Askew’s troublesome start to the 2018 season only got worse at Barber, with finishes of seventh and 12th on a weekend in which he never factored into the outcome. The struggles of him and Cape Motorsports is mystifying given their prowess in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda on their way to winning the championship last year. Getting into championship contention at this point is a tall task – he is 46 points behind Thompson – but righting the ship will be priority No. 1 for him and Cape heading to Indianapolis.
  • Harrison Scott enjoyed a great rebound after struggling in St. Pete, where he finished ninth and 12th. He took his first Pro Mazda podium in Race 1, finishing second, and then survived a chaotic and rainy Race 2 to take his first victory. The successful weekend also vaulted him into fourth in the championship.
  • David Malukas has also put together a solid season through four races, with finishes of seventh, second, third, and fifth. The BN Racing driver sits third in the championship, and may well end up challenging for race wins soon.

All three series of the Mazda Road to Indy will be in action at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course during the weekend of the INDYCAR Grand Prix (May 11-12), with USF2000 returning after a two-month break following the season opener in St. Petersburg.

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