Darius Rucker to Sing National Anthem Before NASCAR Race at Darlington Raceway
NASCAR returns on Sunday (May 17), and the man who helped kick off the 2020 season will return with it. Darius Rucker is set to perform the National Anthem prior to the Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C.
Sunday's NASCAR race is the first since the coronavirus pandemic halted racing in mid-March. All sports and live music events have been postponed or canceled in the United States since that time, with NASCAR being among the first professional sports organizations to return.
Sunday's race will air on Fox at 3:30PM ET and be the first of seven races in 10 days at Darlington Raceway and Charlotte Motor Speedway, two tracks 100 miles apart and near where many drivers and their teams call home. There will be no fans in attendance, and much of the pageantry that happens pre-race (including qualifying races) will be eliminated to make each race a single-day event. Broadcast crews on Fox and, later, FS1 will also be spread out to maintain social distancing.
"I'm excited to get back racing," former champion Jimmie Johnson tweeted. "While it’s unfortunate that there won’t be fans in the stands, it’s obviously necessary at this time."
Rucker lives in Charleston, S.C., about two hours south of Darlington. The South Carolina native played a pre-race concert prior to the Daytona 500 in February but has maintained a fairly low profile in the last few months, aside from a performance during the ACM Presents: Our Country special in April. Video shows that the 53-year-old has also grown more of a beard than he's had in recent years.
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