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Brantley Gilbert set for Chicagoland Speedway concert

Brantley Gilbert will perform Sept. 15 ChicagolSpeedway Joliet. | Phoby JustNolan Key

Brantley Gilbert will perform on Sept. 15 at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet. | Photo by Justin Nolan Key

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Brantley Gilbert, 11:10 a.m. Sept.15, Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet. Tickets: (888) 629-7223

Best known for his No. 1 hits “Country Must Be Country Wide” and “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do,” country bad boy Brantley Gilbert says he’s got plans for after his pre-race show at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, which just might include “stealing” someone’s back up car when they aren’t looking and taking it for a little spin around the track.

Pssst: Just don’t tell anyone.

Question.So, are you rooting for anyone particular on Sunday?

Bradley Gilbert: Definitely No.’ 8” — Mr. Dale Earnhardt Jr. He likes my music and I like his driving. I told him that one of these days I need to get to his house and race him in those go-karts he has. I don’t think I would have the opportunity to put him in the wall though. I definitely would be in the wall first.

Q.Have you always been a big NASCAR fan?

BG:Oh yeah! I loved “No. 3” [Dale Earnhardt Sr.]. My dad used to take me to Bristol [Motor Speedway] and Talladega [Superspeedway]. Bristol is a lot of fun to watch because you feel like you are in some big football stadium. And Talladega? Well, those suckers don’t let up at all. They drive those things wide open.

Q.How is the recording for the new album going?

BG: I feel like “Halfway to Heaven” has been out for about a decade now [Laughs], so yeah, it feels good to be finishing it up. I don’t do a lot of stuff on Twitter or Facebook because I don’t think anyone cares about me going the McDonald’s drive-thru to get me a cheeseburger. But on these records, I bare my soul.

Q.I actually think you have a heart in there Brantley Gilbert!

BG:Don’t tell anyone that. You are going to ruin my reputation. I guess my favorite thing is showing people the extremes I can go to. I like going from heavy metal to a ballad. I want my fans to buckle their seatbelts and turn the volume up and never know what’s coming next.

Tricia Despres is a Sun-Times free-lance writer.

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