Lee Brice And Lee Greenwood Enjoy Performing At NASCAR Racesby Hunter Thomas May 31, 2016 0 comments
CONCORD, N.C. – Lee Brice and Lee Greenwood absolutely rocked Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday.
Charlotte Motor Speedway is notorious for creating an incredible pre-race atmosphere, loaded with helicopters, tanks and so much more in an effort to honor those who have fought and died for this country’s freedom. During the annual Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend, the speedway booked two-time GRAMMY nominee, Lee Brice and Lee Greenwood, who’s known for the famous song, “God Bless The USA”.
Lee Brice, a native of Sumter, South Carolina, who grew up just about 40 miles from Darlington Raceway in the heart of NASCAR country, took to the stage on pit road just prior to driver introductions for the 57th annual Coca-Cola 600. Country music and NASCAR fans go together like Bojangles’ fried chicken and honey mustard. Lee Brice has performed at NASCAR races before, and every time he hits the stage and starts rockin’, he feels right at home.
“There’s nothing like a NASCAR crowd because that’s my hometown crowd,” Brice said. “It all originated right here in the Carolinas, where I’m from, and so it’s like I’m coming home every time. You can’t get a whole lot more comfortable than that.”
This year there seemed to be a little different vibe while Brice was on stage for the 45-minute concert presented by Speed Perks. The atmosphere just absolutely screamed America! Here is a guy, who grew up in a small town and made it to the big times, and he’s now performing songs that the “blue collar” folks can relate to. Each time the band fired up their instruments, Brice first explained the significance of each song. It wasn’t just a show; he cared about the fans’ emotions. On top of that, a pair of military helicopters made a couple of flyovers towards the end of the performance, and the crowd went crazy with patriotism.
Lee Greenwood, artist of “God Bless The USA”
Following Brice’s performance, it was then Lee Greenwood’s turn to keep the momentum and patriotism going. Greenwood performed “God Bless The USA” on the frontstretch of Charlotte Motor Speedway, surrounded by individuals, who are currently serving in the military. Now, Greenwood is no stranger to performing at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but that doesn’t mean he is immune to the pre-race jitters.
“It’s a little scary,” Greenwood said. “You feel like the Christians and the lions in the gladiator times. It’s like if you get this wrong, they’re going to eat you, but it’s a thrill. It really is a thrill. To be in that catbird seat for just a moment and plug in my little form of patriotism because there are so many people involved in this. If you look at the NASCAR family and the NASCAR nation that are involved in this Memorial Day tribute, it’s amazing.”
NASCAR events in particular are more than just organized competitions; they are shows that are meant to entertain the fans in attendance and those who are watching from home. For an event as prestigious as the Coca-Cola 600, the pre-race ceremonies can be nearly as noteworthy as the actual race. Also on Sunday, hundreds of thousands of race fans gathered in Monaco for Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix, as well as in Indianapolis for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.
At all three events, anthems from countries radiated around the tracks, and in particular, the “Star Spangled Banner” was performed in Charlotte and Indianapolis. Sporting events bring everyone together, no matter the politics. It’s those few hours where nothing else matters except for having a good time and pulling for your favorite driver, while enjoying a few beverages and fried food with your family, friends and neighbors.
“Without sports events, we would not hear the National Anthem,” Greenwood said. “We would not have the pride to stand up, get a whole bunch of people together, wave the flag and say ‘We are Americans, and we’re proud of it’, and so when I come sing at these events, it’s really special for me as well as for the people.”