Dierks Bentley helped gear up the crowd ahead of Sunday's (Feb. 19) Daytona 500 with a pre-race performance of his many hits. The performance included a high-energy rendition of his current Top 15 single, "Gold," which was televised on Fox.
After being introduced, Bentley took the stage on the pit road with guitar in hand while fans watched near the stage and from the grandstands. He launched into the feel-good country tune (which, ironically, is about driving) while a colorful background on a large screen was shown behind him. The singer stood at the microphone playing his guitar for the majority of the performance, but he sang the optimistic lyrics of the song clearly and with a smile on his face, all while interacting with fans in the crowd. The cheerful song set the perfect stage for a day of racing.
"I got some rust on my Chevy but it's ready to roll / I got a rhinestone sky and a song in my soul / It ain't a smooth ride, life, it's a winding road / Yeah, it might be gravel, but it feels like gold," he sings in the chorus.
The song's robust instrumentation provided by his band and background vocals by Charlie Worsham only added to the lively tune and excitement for the day to come. Fans in the crowd were clearly excited to be in attendance at the show, as they sang along with Bentley.
At the end of the performance, Bentley said, "I'm so excited to be here at the Super Bowl of NASCAR, Daytona 500."
"Gold" was the only song televised on Fox, but Bentley sang several other tunes for fans, including "What Was I Thinkin'" and others, according to fan videos.
The performance marks the second time Bentley has performed at the Daytona 500 -- he also played the race back in 2011. Additionally, Bentley has performed at Speedweeks in 2009 and the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway in 2021. He is also set to perform the pre-race concert before the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Carolina on May 21.
In an Instagram interview with NASCAR reporter Alex Weaver prior to the show, Bentley shared that he's "such a fan of the sport" and was looking forward to bridging NASCAR and country music.
"There's a similar synergy between country music and NASCAR. I just think as a NASCAR fan, I went to so many races back in the day and as a fan, and I don't remember there being a lot of country concerts and I wish there had been," he says. "That would have been unbelievable to have both of those in one spot. I think it's so smart to have -- whether it's me or anybody -- country music here playing some songs before the race starts. It's a great way to take care of your fans -- our fans, country music fans, NASCAR fans. It makes for a great fan experience."
Country singer and Bentley's "Beers on Me" collaborator Breland was also on hand to represent country music at the racetrack by singing the National Anthem.
Bentley has a busy week ahead of him as he officially releases his 10th studio album, Gravel and Gold, on Friday, Feb. 24. He will celebrate with an album release concert at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville on Thursday (Feb. 23). The album features 14 tracks, including "Gold" and previously released duet with Ashley McBryde, "Cowboy Boots," among others.
READ MORE: 12 Dierks Bentley Songs That Prove He's One of Country's Most Innovative Superstars
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