Jim Barone, of Clinton, N.J., was named Charlotte Motor Speedway’s inaugural Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist after winning an Elvis Presley Enterprises-sanctioned regional contest held Friday and Saturday during the Food Lion AutoFair.
Barone won $2,500 and will go on to compete against other regional contest winners from around the globe in the overall Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest held during Elvis Week, at Graceland in Memphis, Tenn.
“To get on stage and sing Elvis’ songs, I’ve been an Elvis fan my whole life. It feels tremendous to do something that you love and to be successful at it,” said Barone, who is excited to be advancing to the semifinals.
“Elvis Week is what I call ‘Chills Week’ because to be in Elvis’ hometown and to be singing his music and to walk past the spot where he is, it never ever gets old.”
Over the span of two days, contestants performed in front of a huge audience and were judged based on vocal talent, appearance, stage presence and overall performance. The 22-year performance veteran beat several competitors, including runner-up Anthony Shore from London, England, and second runner-up Glenn Bowles of Cincinnati, Ohio.
The final round of competition on Saturday was judged by a panel of celebrity judges, including Danny “The Count” Koker, of HISTORY Channel’s “Counting Cars;” Vic Edelbrock Jr., chairman of the board for Edelbrock, LLC; Bruton Smith, chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc.; and Don Hawk, vice president of business affairs for Speedway Motorsports Inc.
The Food Lion AutoFair concludes Sunday with Best of Show judging and professional lawn mower racing with the United States Lawn Mower Racing Association. Event hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and children 13 and under are admitted free.
For additional information about Food Lion AutoFair or other events at Charlotte Motor Speedway, call 1-800-455-FANS or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.