In the quest for any sort of televised racing content once the universally accepted “big three” motorsports divisions – Formula One, NASCAR, and IndyCar – conclude their seasons, I happened to stumble across the American Music Awards last night while flipping back-and-forth between the drama at the Meadowlands as the Cowboys beat the Giants and Odell Beckham Jr. made that catch.
Awards shows are a great hate-watch as it is, but occasionally, you get lucky and something semi-racing related pops up.
This has already occurred this year with Chris Hemsworth, the actor who played James Hunt, and Niki Lauda presenting at the Golden Globes. Ron Howard’s Rush, which chronicled the legendary Hunt/Lauda 1976 F1 title bout, was nominated for Best Picture at the Globes and Daniel Bruhl, who masterfully played Lauda, was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Both lost, but the point was that racing was mainstream in a major Hollywood-type of way, and this doesn’t happen often.
So back to the AMAs. In-between the frequent lack of pure music, sporadic one-hit wonders and overly produced productions there were two racing tie-ins last night.
After Pitbull opened the show, Patrick Dempsey was the night’s first presenter. Sadly for racing geeks, he didn’t use the stage as an opportunity to expand on his FIA World Endurance Championship program for next year, but he did say hi to Taylor Swift.
Later in the show, Big Machine Records country music artist Brantley Gilbert won Favorite Country Album for “Just As I Am,” which premiered earlier this year.
You might remember that album as being adorned in several places on Sage Karam’s Dreyer & Reinbold/Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet-powered entry at this year’s Indianapolis 500. 19-year-old Karam had a debut worthy of Rookie-of-the-Year honors with a 31st-to-ninth place run.
Karam’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Tony Kanaan tweeted congratulatory messages to Gilbert, and Big Machine Label Group CEO and President Scott Borchetta.
Here’s a pic of “SK$” with Gilbert at the 500 earlier this year.