As the Daytona 500 quickly approaches, the question of the day might not have anything to do with pole positions and qualifying stats, but more along the lines of “Who’s singing the National Anthem?” That's the first question this Music Examiner always asks.
It can only be expected that the opening race to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and the biggest stock car race in the world, would offer world-class musicians. Zac Brown Band member and Southern Ground recording artist Clay Cook will sing the National Anthem at the 2013 Daytona 500.
Clay Cook is a singer, songwriter and multi-talented instrumentalist. He has toured with John Mayer, Shawn Mullins and Sugarland, and was a former member of the Marshall Tucker Band.
The Grammy-award winning Zac Brown Band will perform at the Budweiser Pre-Race Show, which leads up to the start of the 55th annual Daytona 500. Fans that have purchased the Pre-Race Sprint FANZONE access pass will be able to watch the pre-race show with the Zac Brown Band, as well as driver introductions, from the grass tri-oval area at the track.
Songs such as “Toes,” “Knee Deep,” “As She’s Walking Away,” “Chicken Fried,” “Keep Me In Mind” and “Highway 20 Ride” have all gone to number one, firmly planting the group at the top of the country and cross-over charts and gaining them fame for their collaborations with such artists as Jimmy Buffett and Alan Jackson. The band recently received a Grammy for “Best Country Album” for the album “Uncaged.”
The Daytona 500, known as the “Great American Race,” takes place on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. (EST). A one-hour preshow begins at 12:00 (EST). The Daytona 500 will be broadcast on FOX, MRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
Actor James Franco of Disney's upcoming movie "Oz the Great and Powerful" will serve as Grand Marshal for the 2013 Daytona 500.
Several races lead up to the big day on Sunday. For a full list, please click here.
Please visit the Daytona 500 website to learn more about the specific events, races and ticket information.
Camp Southern Ground
Many NASCAR drivers and musicians from all genres of music have a charity organization or event that they support. Zac Brown is in the planning and development stages of Camp Southern Ground, an outdoor camp-oriented destination for youth of diverse backgrounds, race and religion. Their mission is to allow kids to overcome academic, social and emotional difficulties in order to reach their full potential. Through camp activities such as ropes courses, kayaking, swimming and all of the fun stuff associated with the outdoors, kids can come together to learn life skills and teamwork in a positive, healthy and organic environment.