Reba’s Son Shelby to Race on Eve of ACMs With Mom in the Pits
Here's solid proof that family comes first for Reba McEntire. This Sunday's (April 1) ACM Awards co-host won't be spending Saturday at dress fittings or rehearsals on the Las Vegas ACM stage. Instead, NASCAR officials tell The Boot that the iconic entertainer will be 1800 miles away, in Birmingham, Ala., watching son Shelby Blackstock race at Barber Motorsports Park.
Shelby, Reba's only son with husband and manager Narvel Blackstock, is competing for the Roush Performance team on GRAND-AM Racing's Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge circuit. He made his racing debut at just 20 years old, in the Mustang Challenge Miller Cup. Less than a year later, he drove his team into first place at his Daytona debut, in the Continental Tire Challenge Grand-Am 200. (The team, however, lost Shelby's lead and finished in 18th place.) Just last month, the racing prodigy celebrated his 22nd birthday and a pole-winning run in the BMW Performance 200 at Daytona International Speedway.
Though he didn't follow in Mom and Dad's career footsteps, Shelby does have them to thank for his love of racing, which he developed at a young age. "One Christmas, my parents bought me and my niece two go-karts to ride at the house," he recalls. "The only rule was that we could not drive in the grass -- only on the driveway. The only problem with that was that at the end of the driveway, you had to turn around without getting in the grass. This was avoided by dropping your back right wheel in the dirt just enough to lose traction, while yanking the wheel left and slamming on the brake. This resulted in a 180-degree spin that kept us on the drive and off the grass."
This Saturday, you'll likely find Shelby's proud parents down in the pits, wearing headsets so that they can hear the communication between their son and his teammates.
"His daddy and I are totally involved and were very supportive once we knew he had the passion to (race)," says Reba, who also showed her support by performing at the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Banquet in Las Vegas last December. "I try to get to as many races as I can. As a matter of fact, I have started working the schedule of my concerts around Shelby's race schedule."
"They (my parents) have been extremely helpful," Shelby says. "Because of their experience, they both help me in learning how to relate to everyone around me and be a good person. It's been great because it lets me just focus on driving."
This Saturday's Continental Tire Sports Car Series race will be taped to air on the SPEED channel on April 8 at 12:00 PM ET. Click here to learn more about the race and Shelby.