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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Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
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LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.