NASCAR Legends, Country Music Headliners Serving As Dignitaries During NASCAR All-Star Race Week
A who’s who of NASCAR’s greatest legends and a powerful cast of country music performers are among an extended roster of dignitaries who will make appearances during NASCAR All-Star Race week, May 16-21, at revitalized North Wilkesboro Speedway.
NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip, the winningest drivers in North Wilkesboro Speedway history, will serve as co-Grand Marshals for the prestigious race, where a select field of the world’s best stock car racers will battle on the revered .625-mile short track in a non-points, winner-take-all showdown, to earn a lucrative $1 million payday.
Four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, who won the last Cup Series race held at NWS in 1996, and his then crew chief, Ray Evernham, will also serve in special roles -- as honorary Pace Car driver and Honorary Starter -- to help get the NASCAR All-Star Race underway on Sunday evening (8 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN Radio).
On Saturday, more NASCAR legends will take part in the festivities, as former NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series champions Ron Hornaday Jr. and Mike Skinner and two-time Cup Series champion crew chief Jeff Hammond will help count down to the green flag by serving in various pre-race roles for the Tyson 250 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race (1:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN Radio).
Meanwhile, a host of the hottest talent in country music will be performing throughout All-Star week on the Fan Zone stage and during pre-race ceremonies, including Dierks Bentley, Midland, Chase Rice, Kameron Marlowe, Hannah Dasher, Tim Dugger and rising stars Josh Ross and Alex Key.
Multi-platinum entertainer Bentley, a fan-favorite country performer with a smooth delivery and a catalog full of popular songs, including 21 No. 1 hits, will command the stage during the pre-race concert on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. just hours before the start of the All-Star Race.
Fans who attend All-Star Friday presented by Raymer Oil Company will be treated to performances by two of the hottest country acts, Midland and Chase Rice. Texas-based Midland will crank out their top hits with their distinctive groovy sound and will be followed by Rice, an Asheville, N.C. native who played football for the University of North Carolina and also served as a pit crew member for Hendrick Motorsports, where he was a part of two championship winning teams with Jimmie Johnson. With 2.2 million albums sold, Rice’s loyal fanbase continues to swell.
North Carolina native Marlowe will perform Sunday’s National Anthem. The former contestant on NBC’s The Voice and former Kannapolis resident is now one of Nashville’s most promising singer-songwriters.
Most recently added to the NASCAR All-Star week dignitary lineup, Dasher is a country music performer and social media influencer. Critically acclaimed by Rolling Stone and Billboard, Dasher is known for her 1.5 million TikTok followers through her “Stand By Your Pan” viral cooking and music series. She will perform “God Bless America” during Sunday’s pre-race ceremonies prior to the start of the NASCAR All-Star Open (5:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN Radio).
Dignitaries for Tuesday’s ECMD 150 ASA Stars National Series race:
- Grand Marshal: Jennifer Glick, ECMD Logistics and Transportation Operations Lead
- Honorary Starter: Larry Church, ECMD, Technology Maintenance Lead
- Honorary Pace Car Driver: Scott Kilby, ECMD vice president of manufacturing
- National Anthem: Presley Barker, Traphill, N.C., former American Idol contestant
- Invocation: Linda Cheek, president of Wilkes Chamber of Commerce
Dignitaries for Wednesday’s CrossRoads Harley-Davidson 75 CARS Tour Pro Late Model race:
- Grand Marshal: Tommy Rhodes, Wilkesboro Police Chief
- Honorary Starters: Janet, John and David Rhudy, Wilkesboro Community Champions
- God Bless America: Sevyn EmmaRose Harrold, North Wilkesboro, N.C., 13-year-old Jr. Miss America’s United States
- Invocation: Steve Swift, senior vice president of operations and development, Speedway Motorsports
Dignitaries for Wednesday’s Window World 125 CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car race:
- Grand Marshal: TBA
- Honorary Starter: NASCAR Hall of Famer and CARS Tour owner, Jeff Burton
- Honorary Pace Car Driver: NASCAR Team Owner and CARS Tour owner, Justin Marks
- National Anthem: North Wilkesboro High School Marching Band
- Invocation: Tammy Whitworth, Chairman & CEO Window World
Dignitaries for All-Star Friday presented by Raymer Oil Company:
- Concert Opening Act: Josh Ross, country music artist currently on tour with Chase Rice
- Concert: Midland and Chase Rice perform at 7 p.m. at the Fan Zone stage
Dignitaries for Saturday’s Tyson 250 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race:
- Grand Marshal: Ron Hornaday Jr., four-time NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series champion
- Honorary Starter: Mike Skinner, 1995 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series champion
- Honorary Pace Truck Driver: Jeff Hammond, two-time Cup Series champion crew chief
- National Anthem: Country music rising star Alex Key
- Invocation: North Carolina Senator Eddie Settle
Dignitaries for Sunday’s NASCAR All-Star Open race:
- Grand Marshal: Soldiers from the Welcome Home Patriots Program
- God Bless America: Hannah Dasher, recording artist and social media influencer
- Invocation: Nick Terry, MRO Chaplain
Dignitaries for Sunday’s NASCAR All-Star Race:
- Pre-Race Concert Opening Act: Tim Dugger at 12:15 p.m.
- Pre-Race Concert: Dierks Bentley at 1:30 p.m.
- Grand Marshals: NASCAR legends Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip
- Honorary Starter: Ray Evernham, three-time Cup Series champion crew chief
- Honorary Pace Car Driver: Jeff Gordon, four-time Cup Series champion driver
- National Anthem: Kameron Marlowe, country music star and Kannapolis, N.C. native
- Invocation: Will Graham, executive director of Billy Graham Training Center