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Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley and Martina McBride Open NASCAR Daytona 500

Brad Paisley
Jamie Squire, Getty Images

Nothing gets adrenaline surging through a race car driver’s veins like some high octane country music. Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley and Martina McBride were on tap to get the juices flowing before the racing fiends revved their engines at the NASCAR Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20.

It was only fitting that Paisley performed ‘Water,’ with his electric blue guitar popping against his red T-shirt and white 10-gallon hat, in what could have been an unintentional patriotic display! A chorus of cheers erupted when Paisley sang the song’s “Daytona Beach on Spring Break” lyric. Before launching into his new single ‘This is Country Music,’ which is the title track of his new album due out in May, Paisley said, “Being a country music artist, I am so proud to share the greatest fanbase in the world with NASCAR.” He then performed ‘Mud on the Tires,’ another song totally appropriate for a NASCAR pre-race performance, since it references cars, Chevys and four-wheel drive.

Bentley was commissioned to write a special, updated version of his 2009 smash hit ‘Sideways,’ which will be used throughout FOX’s season-long coverage of NASCAR. He debuted it today, in live form, with its revamped lyrics, which include references to NASCAR and FOX, of course. Bentley was on fire as he cranked the song before an increasingly amped crowd.

McBride belted out the National Anthem to close out the musical portion of the pre-race program. Thankfully, she didn’t pull a Christina Aguilera and skip a line or alter the melody. McBride was stunningly spot on with her rendition.

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