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Celebrities, music highlight pre-race festivities at O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway

by Dixie Haag | Posted on Sunday, April 8th, 2018

Grand Marshal: Kix Brooks

Country artist Kix Brooks photographed at the Great Eastern Exposition in West Springfield, MA on September 27, 2013.

American Country Music artist, actor and film producer Kix Brooks will serve as the Grand Marshal and deliver the command for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, April 8, at Texas Motor Speedway.

Brooks is best known for being half of the award-winning musical duo Brooks & Dunn as well as host of radio’s American Country Countdown. In their two decades together, Brooks & Dunn won more Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music awards than any act in the history of country music. They have sold more than 30 million records.



National Anthem Performance: Lewis Warren

In April of 2009, budding 12-year-old pianist Lewis Warren, donning a white tuxedo, announced his arrival on the national stage by performing the National Anthem in front of more than 150,000 fans and a national television audience prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Nine years later, Warren is returning for an encore performance as he will handle the National Anthem duties prior to next Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. Now 21 years old, the Fort Worth native returns with an enhanced skill set and a burgeoning resume.

“I’m very excited and honored to come back again,” Warren said. “The race is such an exciting event, and also the opportunity to honor my country through song is always humbling. I honestly still can’t believe how young I was when I performed. In that sense it does feel slightly different due to the fact that I find myself more matured emotionally and pianistically.”

Warren is in his third year of college, studying Piano Performance at the esteemed New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.

Since he last visited Texas Motor Speedway, Warren appeared on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, performed with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, was a finalist in the New England Conservatory’s Honors Piano Competition and honored multiple times.

Those honors include Grand Prize Winner at the Dallas Symphonic Festival Competition; Grand Prize Winner of the State and Regional Omega Psi Phi Talent Hunt Competition; and National Finalist in the Junior Division of MTNA Piano Competition.

He gives much of the credit to his experience at Texas Motor Speedway.

“I would say my life changed in the sense that I got a taste of the professional world and how to hold myself as a pianist at an early age,” Warren said. “I had to be mature and confident yet also be myself, which is joyful and playful simultaneously; great life lessons.”

Warren’s initial visit to Texas Motor Speedway came about when Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage watched the 12-year-old play during a church service.

“Whenever one is performing you never know who is listening in the audience,” Warren said. “I very was surprised when Mr. Gossage contacted me for the first time. To think on it reminds me of a saying: ‘Whenever a musician plays, it is always a performance or audition.’”



Pre-Race Show:  Bret Michaels

Multi-platinum star Bret Michaels, renowned as the lead singer for the glam metal band Poison, will headline the Loud & Proud Pre-Race Show Powered by Ashley HomeStores on Sunday, April 8 prior to the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Michaels’ appearance at Texas Motor Speedway is part of his “Party Starts Now” solo tour and is free to all that have purchased a ticket to the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. Fans also have an opportunity to get closer to Michaels by purchasing a “mosh pit” pass for $79 that allows stage-side access for the concert as well as Cup driver introductions. The hour-long concert, which will be held on the frontstretch, will begin at 11 a.m. CT.

Michaels’ iconic hits include “Something to Believe In,” “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” “All I Ever Needed” and “Nothin’ But A Good Time.” He also is known for winning President Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2010, the most viewed season in the show’s history. He also starred in the reality TV show “Rock of Love,” which ran for three seasons.

A legendary singer-songwriter, father, entrepreneur, philanthropist and diabetes advocate, Michaels has had a profound influence on the music industry – both with Poison and currently as a solo artist. His career has spanned a quarter-century and his legendary hits have led to more than 40 million records being sold worldwide.

Information courtesy of Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations

About the Author

Dixie Haag is married to Mike Haag. She is a mother to two fantastic young people and a life-long educator.

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