May 14, 2014, 7:12 PM EDT
Former Hootie & the Blowfish front man Darius Rucker will sing the National Anthem for Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
In addition, Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly will serve as the honorary pace car driver for the non-points exhibition event, track officials announced Wednesday.
The Grammy Award-winning Rucker left Hootie & the Blowfish in 2008 and has since gone on to a successful solo career in country music, including hits such as “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” “It Won’t Be Like This for Long,” “Alright,” “Comeback Song” and a cover of Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel.”
Kuechly has led the Panthers in tackles for the last two seasons – including as a rookie in 2012 that netted him Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year honrs – and went on to be named AP’s 2013 Defensive Player of the Year in his sophomore season in the NFL.
The former Boston College standout will be behind the wheel of the event’s official Toyota Camry pace car, making sure much like he does on the football field that no driver gets an unfair advantage before the green flag falls each time during the event.
Follow me @JerryBonkowski
Video from NASCAR America
- Lessons learned from Dale Earnhardt death readily seen in way NASCAR has dealt with Tony Stewart tragedy 0
- Aleshin conscious following heavy accident in MAVTV 500 final practice (UPDATED, VIDEO) 3
- Kevin Harvick wins Atlanta Sprint Cup pole; Stewart qualifies 12th 1
- Castroneves secures crucial MAVTV 500 pole; Power starts P21 for IndyCar finale (VIDEO) 3
- Jeff Gordon: Last 3 races weren’t the same without Tony Stewart 4
- IndyCar has 500 miles to glory, through speed, dirt, tire fall off and unpredictability 0
- How NASCAR determined Tony Stewart was ready to race again 7