Darius Rucker to Sing National Anthem Before Darlington NASCAR Race
NASCAR returns on Sunday, 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.
Rucker, a South Carolina native, played a pre-race concert prior to the Daytona 500 in February. This 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 in 10 days at Darlington Raceway and Charlotte Motor Speedway, two races 100 miles apart and near to where many drivers and their teams call home. There will be no fans, and much of the pageantry that happens pre-race (including qualifying) 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. He's 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.
The full scheduled for races at Darlington (and in Charlotte) is below.
Upcoming NASCAR Schedule:
May 17, 3:30PM — Cup Series Race at Darlington Raceway In Darlington, S.C.
May 19, 8PM — Xfinity Series Race at Darlington Raceway In Darlington, S.C.
May 20, 7:30PM — Cup Series Race at Darlington Raceway In Darlington, S.C.
May 24, 6PM — Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway In Charlotte, N.C.
May 25, 7:30PM — Alsco 300, Xfinity Series Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway In Charlotte, N.C.
May 26, 8PM — North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway In Charlotte, N.C.
May 27, 8PM — Cup Series Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway In Charlotte, N.C.
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