Josh Turner to Sing National Anthem For Dodge Avenger 500

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Multi-platinum MCA recording artist and South Carolina native Josh Turner will perform the national anthem for the 2007 Dodge Avenger 500 at Darlington Raceway.

Born and raised in Hannah, South Carolina (about 50 miles from Darlington), Turner got his first exposure to music at the Union Baptist Church, but his introduction to country music came from his grandmother, who acquainted him with Southern gospel quartets, country stars Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Roy Acuff and Ernest Tubb, and bluegrass legends The Osborne Brothers and The Stanley Brothers.

Turner is best known for his big, deep baritone singing voice. "When I go down in the lower register, that's just kind of my thing and my style," he explains. "The phrase that really describes my kind of music is South Carolina Lowcountry, which is actually a region in South Carolina, around Charleston and Hilton Head and Beaufort. I kind of took that phrase, South Carolina Lowcountry, to describe my music."

New artists dream about the kind of results Turner achieved with his 2003 debut, Long Black Train. The gospel-inflected title track sold a million copies and brought Turner a pair of nominations from the influential Country Music Association, plus a Top New Artist nomination from the Academy of Country Music. He followed up Long Black Train in 2006 with Your Man, which to date has sold more than two million copies and has been certified double platinum.

Turner's recent accomplishments and accolades include back-to back multi-week number one hits on country radio with the singles "Would You Go With Me" and "Your Man." His current single "Me & God", a duet with music legend Dr. Ralph Stanley and members of Diamond Rio, was recently a #1 song in the Christian format and received an Academy of Country Music nomination for Vocal Event of the Tear. Turner also received ACM nominations for Single of the Year and Song of the Year for "Would You Go With Me", had the number one video on CMT with "Your Man", received two 2006 Grammy nominations (Best Country Album and Best Male vocal Performance), and was the number two best-selling male country music vocalist in 2006.

"We are thrilled to welcome Josh Turner to Darlington Raceway," said track president Chris Browning. "He truly is a credit to the state of South Carolina. What a wonderful addition to the Darlington race experience."

The 2007 Dodge Avenger 500 weekend at Darlington Raceway will include practice for the USAC Silver Crown Series and the NASCAR Busch Series on Thursday, May 10,

followed by USAC qualifying and the "Silver Crown Showdown" under the lights. This event will feature open-wheel racing at Darlington for the first time in 51 years.

On Friday, May 11, the day will include NASCAR NEXTEL Cup practice, and NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series qualifying, followed by the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 NASCAR Busch Series race under the lights that evening. Denny Hamlin is the defending champion.

On Saturday, May 12, Darlington will host Cup Series racing for the 58th consecutive season as Greg Biffle attempts to join the short list of drivers to win three events in a row at NASCAR's most historic venue. The 2007 Dodge Avenger 500 will be run under the lights in its entirety.

Tickets for all events are on sale now. For more information, call the Raceway ticket hotline toll-free at 866.459.RACE, or visit

Contact: Darlington Raceway public relations 843.395.8892
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