Keeping Pace

“Thunderstruck” In Thunder Valley

 (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)

Using musical notes and words, each member of Saturday’s starting lineup will greet the sellout crowd by introducing themselves, accompanied by a song of their choosing.

Courtesy: NASCAR Media Relations

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 20, 2009) – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will make a more personal entrance prior to Saturday night’s Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN).

Using musical notes and words, each member of Saturday’s starting lineup will greet the sellout crowd by introducing themselves, accompanied by a song of their choosing.

It’s a little something extra for Saturday’s pre-race festivities, which precede what always is one of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ most anticipated races.

This year, the August “night race” arrives with special circumstances: Bristol Motor Speedway officials announced on Aug. 11 that the 2009 Sharpie 500 is the track’s 55th consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup sellout, plus the Sharpie 500 is one of only three races remaining in the Race to the Chase, the 10 events that precede the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and help determine its field.

Also, four-time series runner-up Mark Martin (No. 5 Pop-Tarts/CARQUEST Chevrolet) will make his 1,000th career national-series start Saturday.

Martin’s song choice for his introduction? “For Those About To Rock,” by AC/DC.

Another AC/DC tune – “Thunderstruck” – is a popular choice. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 AMP Sugar-Free/National Guard Chevrolet), David Ragan (No. 6 UPS Ford) and three-time and reigning series champion Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet) all have chosen “Thunderstruck” as their intro theme.

Jamie McMurray (No. 26 IRWIN VISE-GRIP Ford) also chose an AC/DC ditty – “Shook Me All Night Long.”

Almost every popular music genre is represented among the drivers’ choices, reflecting personal preferences and musical tastes.

Ryan Newman’s (No. 39 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet) choice of “Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy” by Big and Rich took some consideration.

“It really wasn’t my first choice,” Newman said, “but I won’t tell you what that song was. I’ve always liked country music, and this song is pretty cool to me because my buddy “Two-Foot Fred” is in the video and is part of the whole deal. I wouldn’t say it’s my theme song, but it is fun. I’ve always liked it so that’s why I picked it.”

Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge) offers fans a peek into a racer’s world with “Life On The Run” by Dierks Bentley, whom he counts as a good friend.

“That’s what we do,” Kahne said. “Life on the run. We just love to race, and to race, we have to travel, and Dierks is one of my favorites.”

Standings leader Tony Stewart (No. 14 Office Depot Chevrolet) is paying homage to his friend Kid Rock with “Bawitdaba”. David Stremme (No. 12 Penske Dodge) also chose the same tune.

Among the musical gamut:

  • “C.C. Rider” by Elvis Presley – Clint Bowyer (No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet);
  • “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones – Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet); 
  • “Land Down Under” by Men At Work – Marcos Ambrose (No. 47 Clorox/Kingsford/Bush’s Best Baked Beans Toyota);
  • “Welcome To The Jungle” by Guns N Roses – Jeff Burton (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet);
  • “Amazing” by Kanye West – Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&Ms Toyota).

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Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.



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