Press Release | Music City Grand Prix

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BIG MACHINE LABEL GROUP TRIO TO SERVE IN LEADING PRE-RACE ROLES FOR SUNDAY’S BIG MACHINE MUSIC CITY GRAND PRIX

  • BMLG President/CEO/Founder Scott Borchetta named Honorary Starter, Brantley Gilbert tabbed as Grand Marshal and Carly Pearce to perform the National Anthem during the pre-race activities for the marquee NTT INDYCAR SERIES race.
  • Nashville’s 17-year-old Jordan Johnson, who continues his amazing recovery from brain surgery, serving as the race’s Junior Ambassador.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (August 4, 2022) – The Big Machine Label Group trio of founder, president and CEO Scott Borchetta and MULTI-PLATINUM superstars Brantley Gilbert and Carly Pearce will be serving in prominent pre-race roles for Sunday’s Big Machine Music City Grand Prix NTT INDYCAR SERIES race around the Nissan Stadium campus in downtown Nashville.

Borchetta was named the Honorary Starter and will wave the green flag from the starter’s stand to initiate the second edition of the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix (TV: NBC, 2 p.m. CT). He is scheduled to wave the green at 2:30 p.m. to open the 14th race of the 17-event NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.

Borchetta is the Founder, President and CEO of Big Machine Label Group, the leading independent record label home to superstars such as Tim McGraw, Sheryl Crow, Lady A, Thomas Rhett, Gilbert, Pearce and many more. He also is HYBE America Chairman of Record Labels. With Borchetta at the helm, Big Machine has celebrated monumental success since the company’s inception over 16 years ago. He has led the charge on more than 65 million albums sold by Big Machine artists in addition to sending over 200 singles to #1 on the Country, Pop and Rock charts. 

Gilbert, serving as the race’s Grand Marshal, will precede Borchetta with the honor of delivering the traditional-rich “Start Your Engines” command to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers. The command is scheduled for 2:23 p.m.

Gilbert, who was previously named ACM New Male Vocalist of the Year (2012) and Top New Male Artist (2013), is a MULTI-PLATINUM-selling Georgia native with a grassroots following millions strong. Seven No. 1 hits punctuate his career: “Country Must be Country Wide,” “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do,” CMA Awards Song of the Year nominee “Dirt Road Anthem,” “My Kinda Party,” RIAA 5X PLATINUM-certified “Bottoms Up,” “One Hell of an Amen” and the collaboration with Lindsay Ell, “What Happens In A Small Town,” plus his landmark record JUST AS I AM clinched the 2014 American Music Award for Favorite Country Album. Following his “Rolex ® On A Redneck” collaboration with Jason Aldean, Gilbert partnered with Jelly Roll for their new song “Son Of The Dirty South.”

Pearce will be performing a stunning rendition of the National Anthem to highlight the pre-race festivities. She will perform the National Anthem live at 2:12 p.m.

The reigning ACM/CMA Female Artist/Vocalist of the Year has enjoyed a recent wave of significant accolades as her “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” duet with Ashley McBryde became her second consecutive ACM Awards Music Event of the Year win and 29: Written in Stone was nominated for Album of the Year. The song also marked Pearce’s third No. 1 hit and they became only the third duet between two solo women to top Country Airplay since the Billboard chart’s 1990 inception. 

Gilbert and Pearce also will headline Sunday’s special Grand Ole Prix show at the Nissan Stadium campus following the NTT INDYCAR SERIES race. Fellow Big Machine Label Group artists Midland and Callista Clark will join them during the special version of the esteemed Grand Ole Opry show beginning at 5:45 p.m. CT on the ZYN Main Stage. Admission to the concert is included as part of a Sunday race ticket.

The Big Machine Label Group trio will be joined by special guest Jordan Johnson, who is serving as the race’s Junior Ambassador. His role will include shaking hands and welcoming each NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver to Nashville during pre-race activities as well as presenting the winner’s trophy following Sunday’s Indy Lights race. He also kicked off Thursday’s Pit Stop Challenge at the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix FanFest by waving the green flag to officially kick off the six-team competition on Broadway.

The 17-year-old Johnson is an incredible success story after being hit by a baseball during a game in the summer of 2020. A visit to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt for a scan revealed that Jordan had a giant cerebral cavernous malformation, which is an abnormal grouping of small blood vessels inside of his brain stem. The lesion had likely been there since birth, gradually had grown over time and by the time Jordan suffered the hit the lesion had reached a critical size. The options were to continue to let it grow, with the possibility of a life-threatening rupture, or to remove it with a high-risk surgery, which could affect his ability to move and communicate.


Jordan’s condition required an eight-hour brain surgery by the neurosurgery team led by Jay Wellons III, MD, MSPH at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, followed by two weeks of recovery in the hospital. When Jordan departed the hospital, he began the arduous journey through rehabilitation where he had to relearn everything from eating to walking. He continues outpatient rehabilitation today and continues to make great strides in his recovery.

Three-day event packages as well as single-day tickets are still available, including for Sunday’s Big Machine Music City Grand Prix, by visiting www.musiccitygp.com/tickets.About the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix:
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES will visit Nashville Friday through Sunday for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix, Round 14 of the 17-race season. The three-day festival of racing and music also will include Indy Lights, GT America, Trans Am, Stadium SUPER Trucks and Vintage Indy. The musical entertainment is highlighted by nightly on-site concerts featuring prominent artists led by Tim McGraw on Saturday, and Carly Pearce and Brantley Gilbert for the Grand Ole Prix show on Sunday.  For ticket and event information, please visit www.musiccitygp.com.

Media Contact:
Mike Zizzo | Communications Director | Big Machine Music City Grand Prix | mzizzo@musiccitygp.com| 817.528.4676 (cell)