LOS ANGELES (AP) – Kelly Clarkson will soon be showing her racing stripes in the biggest partnership NASCAR has ever made with a music artist, the sports franchise announced Thursday.

“Anyone who knows me knows I’m a race fan and love NASCAR,” the former “American Idol” and Grammy-winning singer said in a NASCAR press release. “I look forward to hanging out with the fans, drivers and the entire NASCAR community.”

Clarkson will be “integrated into all aspects of NASCAR,” including television spots, charitable events and NASCAR’s awards dinner in New York City in December, NASCAR said.

The deal kicks off with Clarkson headlining the Nextel “Tribute To America” concert airing live on Fox just before the Daytona 500 in Florida on Feb. 18.

During the appearance, Clarkson will film a 30-second NASCAR spot for TV featuring a new song from her upcoming third album.

She will also serve as a spokeswoman for the fourth annual NASCAR Day on May 18, 2007.

Other artists who have partnered with NASCAR include the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sheryl Crow, Jewel, Lenny Kravitz and LeAnn Rimes.

Clarkson’s “enthusiasm for NASCAR as a fan of NASCAR will surely develop into an unparalleled relationship,” said NASCAR’s Sarah Nettinga in a statement.

The 24-year-old singer rose to pop-rock stardom after snagging the first “American Idol” crown in 2002.

Her debut album, “Thankful,” earned double-platinum status, and the multiplatinum follow-up, “Breakaway,” garnered two Grammy awards in 2006.

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