Trick Pony takes a step up in horsepower at LVMS

        For a few hours Thursday afternoon, hit country recording group Trick Pony traded in its guitars and cowboy hats for a racing helmet and a steering wheel.

        The group, which was among the nominees for five different Academy of Country Music Awards Wednesday night, spent the afternoon turning laps at over 150 miles per hour at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as part of the Driving 101 program.

        The outing was arranged by Country Music Television and was filmed as part of the hit show, ¿CMT Got Me In With the Band.¿ The show focuses on contestants picked at random who get an opportunity to spend the day with their favorite band. Thursday, the lucky winner was Henderson¿s Jessie Hiatt.

        ¿I was shocked when they showed up (Wednesday) and told me I was getting to spend the day with Trick Pony,¿ Hiatt said. ¿Then to come out here and race cars was incredible.¿

        The fastest driver in the band was lead singer Heidi Newfield, who went more than 157 miles per hour in the Indy Car. Fellow band mates Keith Burns and Ira Dean were just a few miles per hour slower.

        ¿The first couple of laps, I kind of took it easy,¿ Newfield said. ¿But these guys kept telling me that those were soft tires and they would stick. So I really let it go the last couple of laps. This was one of the most incredible things I¿ve ever done. This could be addicting. I can¿t wait to get in another race car.¿

        Trick Pony was voted favorite new artist by the American Music Association in 2001 after its self-titled debut album went gold with hit songs ¿Just What I Do¿ and ¿Whiskey River¿ with Willie Nelson. The band released its second album, ¿On a Mission,¿ in 2002.