A group of children from Nashville-area Boys & Girls Clubs received a special visit from one of country music‘s hottest stars on Sunday, as award-winning artist Kane Brown surprised 20 teens before the start of the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway. Brown, a longtime supporter of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, was announced last month as grand marshal for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series event, but his first priority after arriving at the race track was to surprise some unsuspecting youth from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee and Boys & Girls Clubs of Rutherford County.
Brown signed autographs, took photos with the kids and engaged in an informal Q&A before reporting to the pit-road stage for pre-race festivities. A pair of club members — 13-year-old Amina and 13-year-old Yorec — joined Kane on the starting grid to deliver the most famous words in racing as all 40 drivers fired their engines in preparation for green flag.
Before the race, Amina and Yorec met NASCAR officials, drivers and race dignitaries, including NASCAR president Steve Phelps, 23XI Racing driver Bubba Wallace and WWE superstar Sheamus, during The 1948 pre-race experience.
The Boys & Girls Clubs attended the race as part of a national partnership with NASCAR designed to educate club youth about career opportunities in the sport. Before the Ally 400, the group received a private tour of the race track and met with various industry professionals along the way — including Nashville Superspeedway president Erik Moses and representatives from NASCAR‘s broadcast operations and at-track medical team.
The experience is one of 15 activations planned for NASCAR Cup Series race days this season, and the goal of each is to demonstrate to Boys & Girls Clubs youth that are preparing to enter the workforce the wide variety of jobs and career opportunities in motorsports. In 2021, Boys & Girls Clubs of America was announced as the Official Youth Community Partner of NASCAR and, now in its second year, the partnership focuses on STEM learning and career development across both digital and at-track experiences.
Brown, who will embark on an international concert tour in September, lives in Nashville and was raised in Chattanooga, just a few hours from Nashville Superspeedway. The chart-topping artist has released multiple No. 1 tracks and his recently released single, “Like I Love Country Music,” has already amassed nearly 10 million listens on Spotify.
Shortly after meeting Brown, the Boys & Girls Clubs kids enjoyed a similar encounter with another celebrity with ties to the state. New Orleans Saints All-Pro tailback Alvin Kamara, who played collegiately at the University of Tennessee and currently serves as NASCAR‘s growth and engagement advisor, met with the club members and signed autographs as part of a private meet-and-greet.