NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Marching Tar Heels Will Play National Anthem at Martinsville Speeday

(Credit: Martinsville Speedway)
(Credit: Martinsville Speedway)

NASCAR is filled with many timeless traditions that fans participate in. Tailgating outside the track, infield camping, cheering loudly during driver intros for the ones you like, booing those you don’t, standing respectfully while listening to the national anthem…

…complaining about it afterwards.

No tradition is more valued or sacred to NASCAR fans than the pre-race ceremonies, and no habit is harder to break than the tendency to gripe loudly on social media when the anthem isn’t played or sung to absolute perfect. Godspeed the singer who is given the honor of singing the national anthem before the start of the race, lest they hold onto “free” just a second or two too long. Suddenly they’re the scorn of thousands, as the fact that they couldn’t quite hit the high notes must certainly mean their patriotism is a façade and their loyalty is questioned.

Well, maybe not that far, but you get the point.

When the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Martinsville Speedway, though, this will be a tradition that will have to be skipped for the time being. Though Martinsville Speedway generally has instrumental national anthems, most fans will recognize this band as a particularly talented group of performers.

Meet the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Marching Tar Heels.

Though the Tar Heels have performed nearly everywhere there is to be performed, this will be the first time the Tar Heels have played the national anthem at Martinsville Speedway. One can only assume it will be an otherwise rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, instilling infallible patriotism in even the most blithe spectator.

“Just like Martinsville Speedway, The Marching Tar Heels have a rich tradition and history,” said Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell. “They are a perfect fit for our prerace ceremonies. To have a band that many of fans are familiar with is even better.”

In other words … ‘Merica!

Hey, at least the hot dogs are still scheduled to be make their regular appearance. Now there is a tradition everyone can agree on.

Viewers can tune into this performance—and, oh yeah, the race—on October 26th at 1:45PM ET on ESPN.

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