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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Al Unser Jr. back in IndyCar after a decade away: ‘Life is very good’

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There’s been somewhat of a hole in Al Unser Jr.’s heart ever since he retired from racing in 2007.

It was a void, something was missing.

But now, after a decade away from racing, Unser has found the right medicine to fill that hole in his heart: he’s back in the racing game again.

No, he’s not driving again (although he does participate occasionally in vintage races), but the two-time Indianapolis 500 (1992 and 1994) winner is definitely back in the IndyCar world.

And he couldn’t be happier.

“For me, it’s a dream come true,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “Since I stepped out of the race car and retired from racing, there’s been something missing from my life, and it’s racing.”

Unser has hooked up with Harding Racing. The team competed in three races last season as a ramp-up for a full 17-race effort this season. While Unser’s official title with the team is “consultant,” he’s involved in so much more.

His main role is as a driving coach to 2015 IndyCar Rookie of the Year Gabby Chaves. But he’s also involved in so many other areas, including helping the team obtain sponsorships and much more.

He then added, “I’m involved in every sense of the word except actually driving the car. And I’m happy about that because I’m too old to drive the car.”

Unser, who won CART championships in 1990 and 1994, is now 55. He’s so involved with his new job that he even moved from his native New Mexico and has relocated to suburban Indianapolis.

Not only is it a new start for Unser, it also is for Chaves. After running all 16 races in 2015 for Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian, he competed in just seven races for Dale Coyne Racing in 2016 and only three races for Harding Racing last season.

But he definitely impressed the team, with a fifth- (Texas) and ninth-place (Indianapolis 500) finish in the first two races and 15th (Pocono) in the team’s final run of the season.

That’s why when Harding Racing decided to go fulltime in 2018, Chaves was their pick for behind the wheel. And Unser was their pick to help guide him to potential stardom in the series.

“(Team owner) Mike Harding is definitely a person that when he decides to do something, he does it right,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “The potential for this organization is through the sky. We’re all working really hard here and we see the potential.”

And as for Unser?

“Life is good, life is very good,” he told IndyCar.com. “We’re back full force, eager and better than ever.”

Click here for the full story about Unser from IndyCar.com.