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Kelly Clarkson's New Deal


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Kelly Clarkson, NASCAR Idol

by Sarah Hall

Kelly Clarkson is ready to start some engines.

The original American Idol winner has signed on to represent NASCAR at a series of events over the course of the 2007 season, marking the biggest and most comprehensive partnership the motorsports organization has ever forged with a recording artist.

"Anyone who knows me knows I'm a race fan and love NASCAR," Clarkson said in a statement. "It's been cool doing things with NASCAR in the past, and I'm honored to have the opportunity to play such a huge role for the sport in 2007. I look forward to hanging out with the fans, drivers and the entire NASCAR community."

The Grammy winner will kick off her collaboration with the race car association next month, when she headlines the Nextel Tribute to America concert before the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18.

"We're delighted to have one of the most popular singers in the world entertain the race fans in attendance as well as the live television audience on Fox,” Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said in a statement. "NASCAR's most prestigious event will get off to a roaring start with this unforgettable pre-race show that's fitting for the biggest, richest and most watched motorsports event in America."

During her appearance at Daytona, Clarkson will also shoot a 30-second TV spot for the "NASCAR: How Bad Have You Got It?" campaign, featuring footage from her performance combined with clips of the actual race. A song from her upcoming third album will provide the soundtrack for the spot.

Clarkson will also serve as the official spokesperson for the fourth annual NASCAR Day on May 18, a day when fans of the sport are encouraged to make a charitable donation of $5 to the NASCAR Foundation in exchange for a commemorative lapel pin.

The singer will wrap up the NASCAR season by performing at the Nextel Cup's Champions Banquet in New York on Dec. 3, which will be broadcast live on ESPN.

Clarkson's previous NASCAR experience includes serving as the Grand Marshal for the Sony HD 500 at the California Speedway in September.

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