Michael Ray Pre-Race Concert Announcement

Michael Ray to perform prior to Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway


DARLINGTON, S.C. (Aug. 8, 2023) — Darlington Raceway announced today that multi-Platinum country music star Michael Ray will perform the pre-race concert at the Cook Out Southern 500 on Sunday, September 3rd. The performance will be held from at the start-finish line before the opening race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

Fans who purchase a Pre-Race Experience Pass can enjoy the best access on the historic Darlington frontstretch.

“There‘s no better way to kickstart the Cook Out Southern 500 than with a musical performance all our fans can enjoy,” said Darlington Raceway President Kerry Tharp. “Michael Ray‘s music is sure to get them in the mood for a great night of NASCAR racing that‘s Too Tough to Tame.”

Coming from a blue-collar family of workers and musicians, the Central Florida native has built an acclaimed career with four No. 1 singles, including two-week chart-topper “Whiskey And Rain,” two RIAA Platinum-certified and four Gold-certified hits, over 2 billion global streams as an artist and over 70 appearances at the Grand Ole Opry.

Ray‘s latest release Dive Bars & Broken Hearts, an updated old school six-song EP via Warner Music Nashville, is the distillation of all the things Ray believes country music to be. Teaming with producer Michael Knox, Ray found a kindred spirit in his quest to make the kind of music he hears in his mind. Current single “Spirits & Demons” is a swaying ballad that sorts through the perils of trying to kill the pain by outdrinking the memories. Stark, straight up, the heartache is bottomless and regret swells as he trades licks with the fiery Meghan Patrick, a two- time Canadian Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year who brings gospel burn.

The Crown Royal presents Darlington Labor Day Race Weekend begins at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2 with the NASCAR Xfinity Series‘ Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help a Hero 200. Then at 6 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 3, the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs begin in style with the Cook Out Southern 500, one of NASCAR‘s crown jewel events.

NASCAR fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets via phone at 866-459-7223 or online at darlingtonraceway.com.

About Michael Ray

Forged on the small stages of Florida‘s rural communities, Michael Ray has created an impressive foundation. With four No. 1 songs including RIAA Platinum-certified “Think a Little Less,” RIAA Platinum-certified “Whiskey And Rain,” RIAA Gold-certified “Kiss You in the Morning,” RIAA Gold-certified “One That Got Away” — plus “Get to You” and “Her World Or Mine” bringing his tally to four RIAA Gold-certified singles — over 2 billion global streams, over 650,000 album equivalents and over 150 million YouTube views, he is a true country star who‘s performed at the Grand Ole Opry 72 times. Looking to expand his sound, Ray sought out CMA Album of the Year Award-winning producer Michael Knox. The pair have taken his brand of country to a new level for Dive Bars & Broken Hearts, Ray‘s six-song EP available now via Warner Music Nashville, featuring current single and haunting duet “Spirits & Demons” with Meghan Patrick, a two-time Canadian Country Music Association Female Artist of the Year. Currently on the road headlining shows through the summer, he‘s taking his music where it matters: to the people. For more information, visit MichaelRayMusic.com or follow him on Instagram and Twitter @MichaelRayMusic and Facebook.com/MusicMichaelRay.

About Darlington Raceway

Darlington Raceway nicknamed The Lady in Black and The Track Too Tough To Tame, is home to the award-winning Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR and annually hosts two NASCAR Cup Series race weekends, along with the NASCAR Xfinity Series and/or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Opening in 1950, Darlington Raceway is “A NASCAR Tradition” and NASCAR‘s original superspeedway with its famed 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval, challenging the sports best in one of the most iconic NASCAR races, the Southern 500u00ae. For more information about Darlington Raceway, visit darlingtonraceway.com. Stay connected to Darlington Raceway on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the NASCAR Tracks App.


Celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2023, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nation‘s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR sanctions races in three national series (NASCAR Cup Seriesu2122, NASCAR Xfinity Seriesu2122, and NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Seriesu2122), four international series (NASCAR Brasil Sprint Race, NASCAR Mexico Series, NASCAR Pinty‘s Series (Canada), NASCAR Whelen Euro Series), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour) and a local grassroots series (NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series). The International Motor Sports Associationu2122 (IMSAu00ae) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championshipu2122, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races annually in 12 countries and more than 30 U.S. states. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR‘).