The NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 is headed for what promises to be a thrilling finish Sunday, and no matter whoÂ wins there will be a Nashville connection.
That’s becauseÂ the season champion,Â who will be determined after Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 title race atÂ Homestead-Miami Speedway, will be crownedÂ on Dec. 5 at Music City Center atÂ the NASCARÂ Cup Awards.
It’s down toÂ Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick andÂ Martin Truex Jr.
The awards ceremony, which will begin on Dec. 3, is moving from Las Vegas.
“We’reÂ taking a look at everything we do with ourÂ longstanding events and new events and asking what’s the right place to get NASCAR in front of the most fans?” NASCAR executive vice president and chief marketing and content officer Jill Gregory said. “Obviously, Nashville is such a huge mecca these days for entertainment and sports and music. There are a lot of NASCAR fans in Nashville, and NASCAR and country music have such a long heritage and history together that when we looked at what would be a great way to put some energy into our season-ending celebrationÂ Nashville was a natural choice.”
Speaking of country music stars,Â multi-platinum-selling artist Sam Hunt will perform at the awards show and Grammy-nominatedÂ singer-songwriter Cassadee PopeÂ will be a co-host along with NASCAR analyst Rutledge Wood.
On Dec. 3Â Rascal Flatts, Henry Cho and Ashley McBride will perform at the Grand Ole Opry in conjunction with the awards show.
More celebrities and entertainers will be released in the coming weeks.
On Dec. 3 and 4 NASCAR Champions Fanfest will be at Riverfront Park from noon-8 p.m. and on Dec. 5 from noon-4 p.m.
Each playoff carÂ will be on display at Fanfest and several drivers will be available for autographs. Some hall of fame drivers andÂ other industry personalities will join the drivers each day.
AÂ highlightÂ of the week will be the night of Dec. 4 when each of the 16 playoff drivers bring their cars to town for Burnouts on Broadway. They will perform burnouts under neon lights at aÂ free event.
“It’s a privilege to be able to go out onto a city street with an 800-horsepower NASCAR car and do burnouts,” said Kurt Busch, one of the playoff drivers. “ToÂ be one of the top 16 and get to celebrate and have fun like that is definitely a treat.”
There is strategy involved for each team in what has become a competition.
“Every driver there wants to put on the best show and burnout the best,” Busch said. “It’s going to be fun to watch to see who does different doughnuts or just a straight up burnout with the power break. It’s really neat and the fans can get right into the action. You can smell it and feel it.”Â Â
The red carpet for the awards show will be from 4:30-5:45 p.m on Dec. 5 and the show will be from 6-8 p.m.Â
Tickets for the awards show are available by clicking onto NASCAR Awards Show.
One of the greatest backfields in Metro high school football history was celebratedÂ on Nov. 8 at Stratford before the Spartans’ playoff game against Camden Central.
The jerseys of running backs Arcentae Broome (No. 40), Michael Coleman (42), Erik Gardner (33) and Gregory Young (20) were retired.
Each back rushed for 1,000 yards in 1992 and led the Spartans to anÂ undefeated regular season and the second round of the state playoffs.
News Channel 5 sports anchor Jon Burton will become a part of Greg Pogue’sÂ weekday morning sports talk radio show on Monday.
The Greg Pogue & Jon Burton Show (9-11 a.m.) will debut on WNSR 560-AM/95.9-FM.
Burton will replace Joe Dubin, who left the show earlier this month when he moved from being a sports anchor at WSMV-4 to become a co-host of the station’s morning show.
“Jon had been filling in for vacationing people here from time to time and we realized that Jon was way more than you see on Channel 5, that he has a personality that is contagious,” WNSR station general manager Ted Johnson said. “When the opportunity came when Joe told us what he was going to do atÂ Channel 4 I said, ‘The one we need in here is Jon because he loves it here, he’s done a great job with us,’ and we’re so fortunate that he and Channel 5 agreed to it.”
Burton, a New York native, played amateur rugby for 19Â years andÂ is a certified personal trainer. He also is aÂ former pro wrestler.
Not everyone in the Titans organization hasÂ theÂ week off.
Radio analyst Dave McGinnis will spend the bye week calling the Texans at Ravens national radio broadcastÂ Sunday at noon.
McGinnis, a former Titans assistant, will join play-by-play announcer Larry Kahn on the Sports USA network.
Twelve individuals and four teams were included in the 2019Â Fisk Sports Hall of Fame class.
The class included: Harry Beamon, Cathy Bowman, Calvin Byrom, Mike Claiborne, Larry Glover, Reynaldo Glover, Richard Gold, Billy Hastings, Jewell Humphrey, Glen Jamison, Henry Author Kean andÂ Jerry Tanksley.
The teams: 1973-74 men’s tennis, 1974 men’s basketball, 1975 football, 1988 volleyball.
The local TV rating for the LSU-Alabama game on Nov. 9Â was 22.5, which is the highest for a college game in eight years (not including conference championships and games featuring Tennessee), according to WTVF-5 senior programming directorÂ Mark Binda.
It means 221,220Â Nashville households watched LSU hold on for a 46-41 victory.
Larry Inman, who led the Mt. Juliet girls basketball team to the 1977 state championship, is back at the school serving as an assistant on coach Chris Fryer’s staff.
On Saturday several of Inman’s former Mt. Juliet players will celebrateÂ his return by attending the school’s Black &Â Gold Night at 6 p.m.
The event will serve as a preview for the 2019-20 season. Dinner will be served, and there will be an intrasquad scrimmage played by the boys and girls teams along with alumni games.
Inman left Mt. Juliet in 1978 to become the coach at Middle Tennessee State where he posted a record of 161-73 and won six OVC championships. He then spent 20 years at Eastern Kentucky, twoÂ at Lebanon High and then five at Tennessee State before retiring in 2017.
The top five local ratings for sporting events fromÂ Nov. 4-10:
1. NFL: Titans-Chiefs,Â 24.2
2. College football:Â LSU-Alabama, 22.5
3. NFL:Â Vikings-Cowboys,Â 14.5Â
4. NFL:Â Packers-Panthers, 12.4Â
5. College football:Â Tennessee-Kentucky, 10.2Â
If you have an item for Midstate Chatter contact Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.