Jake Owen Likens NASCAR to Country Music Fans: ‘They’re Very Loyal’
Country music and NASCAR go hand in hand — or as Jake Owen says, the fandoms share a similar spirit.
"NASCAR fans, country music fans, they're very loyal," Owen tells Taste of Country. "They kind of find a driver or a singer that they love, and then they support them for their entire career as long as you take care of them in return. I really love the sport. It's something that I enjoy, and it tends to go hand in hand with country music."
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Not only does he enjoy watching NASCAR races, but the "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" singer has also had the opportunity to perform at opening shows before races. It was through these performances that he managed to strike up a friendship with some of the drivers, including Kevin Harvick. Owen has engaged in charity work for both the Kevin Harvick Foundation and Cal Ripken Foundation, and his NASCAR pal returned the favor by surprising Owen with the news that he was building a baseball park in his honor in his hometown in Vero Beach, Fla., to serve as a safe space for youth.
"I was absolutely just kind of floored to know that they were going to do that for me," the singer admits.
Owen believes that both country singers and NASCAR drivers have a "grass is always greener" mentality when it comes to watching each other perform, even wanting to switch places every now and then. "Sometimes for us, singing songs, we want to hop in the car and drive around a track as fast as we can. I think sometimes those guys want to get out of the car and get on stage and sing songs and see what that's like," the country star explains. "We're kind of envious of one another as to what we get to do, but we're also pretty lucky to be able to do it as well."
Owen's baseball field opened in June of 2017 and is funded by Ripken and Harvick's foundations.
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