3 Doors Down and NASCAR


The voice on the other end of the phone is unexpected.

It’s unexpected if you’ve gone the past 15 years having only heard the singing voice of Brad Arnold, which will be on display as part of today’s NASCAR Chase Fest today in Chicago.

His speaking voice is a thick, Southern number, bred in his hometown of Escatawpa, Miss.

The town is 40 minutes east of Biloxi, where the lead singer and last remaining founding member of 3 Doors Down recalls hearing the band’s first hit single, “Kryptonite,” play on local station 97.9 WCPR-FM for the first time.

Arnold, 36, also remembers the first time the band heard the song outside its home state, riding in a van on the way to a gig in Albany, Ga.

Arnold swears “we about tipped that van over” during a phone interview with NASCAR Talk.

“Kryptonite” was the first track on the band’s debut 2000 album “The Better Life” and it would be the No. 1 song on Billboard’s U.S. Mainstream Rock chart for more than two months.

Fifteen years later, the band is in the final stages of preparing for the release of its sixth studio album, “Us and the Night,” at the end of 2015 or beginning of 2016. It will be its first album since “Time of My Life” was released in 2011.

“Six months ago I realized it had been four years,” Arnold said.

Between those points, 3 Doors Down has maintained a steady relationship with NASCAR. Arnold first visited a NASCAR track around 2003 when took in a race at Martinsville Speedway. In the years since, 3 Doors Down has put on shows at the 2005 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, multiple races at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the spring race at Texas in 2011.

The band’s biggest plunge into the sport came in March 2003 on a film set in Concord, N.C.

As part of its sophomore album, “Away from the Sun,” the band recruited Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart, then the defending Sprint Cup champion, for roles in the music video for “The Road I’m On.”

Arnold remembers sitting in a trailer between takes talking with Earnhardt and Stewart. The conversation turned to 3 Doors Down possibly sponsoring one of Earnhardt’s cars. At one point, Stewart said if the band sponsored the car, he would drive it.

The conversation came to fruition later that year on Aug. 13 when Stewart, driving in his first Busch Series (Xfinity) race since 1998, piloted Earnhardt’ No. 8 Chevrolet in the Cabela’s 250 at Michigan International Speedway.

The orange and black car had the band members on the hood and Arnold on the rear fenders.

Stewart led 86 laps, but finished 11th. Arnold laments that if it weren’t for the race ending at 110 laps due to rain, the car would have had a chance to win.

Two years later, the band and Earnhardt would be back together for a Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway with the band’s logo on the car’s tail end. Earnhardt would finish 20th in the Chevy Rock & Roll 400.

In addition to 3 Doors Down, NASCAR Chase Fest will feature appearances and autograph sessions from all 16 drivers competing in the first round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Fans in attendance will be treated to food from renowned Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, beverages from Coors Light (with proper ID), attractions such as the Toyota Ferris Wheel and NASCAR on NBC Sports Bumper Cars, activations from event sponsor Sprint, including an appearance by Miss Sprint Cup and the Sprint Cup Series Trophy, and another live musical performance by a Chicago-based country cover band, the Suburban Cowboys.

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COTA Truck race results: Zane Smith wins

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series XPEL 225
Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

Reigning series champion Zane Smith won Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at Circuit of the Americas for the second year in a row.

The victory is Smith’s second of this year.

MORE: COTA Truck race results

MORE: Truck points after COTA

Kyle Busch finished second and was followed by Ty Majeski, Tyler Ankrum and Ross Chastain.

The key moment came when Parker Kligerman‘s truck came to a stop on the frontstretch at Lap 28. Smith, running second, made it to pit road before it was closed. Busch, who was leading, had already passed pit road entrance.

Smith gained the lead with the move, while Busch had to pit under the caution and restarted 16th. Smith was able to build a lead and beat Busch by 5.4 seconds.

Stage 1 winner: Christian Eckes

Stage 2 winner: Kyle Busch

Who had a good race: Ty Majeski’s third-place finish is his best of the season. … Tyler Ankrum’s fourth-place finish is his best of the year. … Corey Heim has finished sixth two races in a row. … Rookie Nick Sanchez finished seventh, giving him back-to-back top 10s.

Who had a bad race: Parker Kligerman was running third when electrical issues forced him to stop on track just after the end of the second stage. … After winning the first stage, Christian Eckes had mechanical issues and had to pit for repairs, costing him several laps.

Notable: Front Row Motorsports has won the Truck COTA race all three years. Todd Gilliland won the race in 2021 and Zane Smith has won it the past two years.

Next: The series races April 1 at Texas Motor Speedway (4:30 p.m. ET on FS1).

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series XPEL 225
COTA winner Zane Smith’s truck catches fire after he did his burnout on the frontstretch. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

COTA Cup starting lineup


Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron, who has won two of the first five races of the season, will lead the Cup field to the green flag Sunday at Circuit of the Americas.

Byron will be joined on the front row of the starting lineup by Tyler Reddick, the only driver to win multiple races at road courses last year.

MORE: COTA Cup starting lineup

Austin Cindric starts third and is joined in the second row by Jordan Taylor, who is filling in for the injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 Hendrick car.

Taylor’s performance is the best qualifying effort by a driver making their Cup debut since Boris Said started second in his Cup debut at Watkins Glen in 1999.

William Byron wins Cup pole at COTA


William Byron will start on the pole for Sunday’s Cup race at Circuit of the Americas.

Byron won the pole with a lap of 93.882 mph around the 3.41-mile road course Saturday. He becomes the first Cup driver to win a pole at four different road courses: Charlotte Roval (2019), Road America (2021), Indianapolis road course (2021) and COTA (2023).

MORE: COTA Cup starting lineup

Byron will be joined on the front row by Tyler Reddick, who had posted the fastest lap in Friday’s practice and fastest lap in the opening round of qualifying Saturday. Reddick qualified at 93.783 mph.

Austin Cindric (93.459 mph) qualified third. Former IMSA champion Jordan Taylor, substituting for an injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports, qualified fourth with a lap of 93.174 mph. AJ Allmendinger (93.067) will start fifth.

Taylor’s performance is the best qualifying effort by a driver making their Cup debut since Boris Said started second in his Cup debut at Watkins Glen in 1999.

Ross Chastain, who won this event a year ago, qualified 12th. Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen qualified 22nd, former world champion Jenson Button qualified 24th, seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson qualified 31st and IndyCar driver Conor Daly qualified 35th.

Sunday Cup race at Circuit of the Americas: Start time, TV info, weather


Is this Toyota’s weekend?

Chevrolet won the first four races of the season. Ford won last weekend with Joey Logano at Atlanta. Is it Toyota’s turn to win its first Cup race of the season? Or does Chevrolet return to dominance?

Chevrolet drivers have won 11 of the past 12 Cup races on road courses. The exception was Christopher Bell‘s win for Toyota at the Charlotte Roval in last year’s playoffs. Chevrolets have won the two previous Cup races at COTA: Chase Elliott in 2021 and Ross Chastain in 2022.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Circuit of the Americas

(All times Eastern)

START: Brendan Hunt, who plays Coach Beard in “Ted Lasso” on Apple TV+, will give the command to start engines at 3:38 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:49 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting at 2:45 p.m. … Driver introductions at 3:05 p.m. … Invocation will be given by Sage Steele, ESPN broadcaster, at 3:30 p.m. … Jaime Camil, actor from “Schmigadoon” on Apple TV+, will perform the national anthem at 3:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 68 laps (231.88 miles) on the 3.41-mile, 20-turn road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 15. Stage 2 ends at Lap 30.

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. Pre-race coverage begins at 2 p.m. on FS1 and moves to Fox at 3 p.m. … Performance Racing Network’s radio coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and will also stream at goprn.com; SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground – Mostly cloudy with a high of 80 degrees and a 2% chance of rain at the start of the race.

STARTING LINEUP: COTA Cup starting lineup

LAST YEAR: Ross Chastain scored his first career Cup win in a physical battle with AJ Allmendinger on the final lap. Alex Bowman finished second. Christopher Bell placed third.


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