As any NASCAR fan knows, the Daytona 500 is all about fast-paced, high-risk action. But let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be a major American event without a little pageantry. The pre-race festivities are designed to get the fans and racers in the mood for an afternoon of heart-pounding excitement. And what’s more exciting than a flyover from the US Air Force’s premier air demonstration team, the Thunderbirds?
This year’s flyover was a truly inspirational sight. As Trace Adkins gave a passionate performance of the national anthem with his hand over his heart, six Air Force Thunderbirds roared overhead, leaving thick white trails in their wake.
If you missed the flyover, NASCAR has you covered. They posted a video of the electrifying experience on their Twitter page with the caption, “We live for moments like this!”
American flag emojis abound, fans couldn’t agree with NASCAR more. Viewers took to the comments to express the awe they felt watching the performance. One fan writes, “I got choked up!” Another says, “Thunderbirds and the Daytona 500. A great combo.”
Can’t get enough of the Thunderbirds? The Daytona International Speedway posted another angle of the performance to their social media.
Luke Combs Gives Daytona 500 Pre-Race Performance
Before any race cars rolled onto the track, Luke Combs treated the fans at the Daytona 500 to a pre-race concert. Combs performed at last year’s race as well, but to a much smaller audience due to crowd constraints as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year is a little different, as the stands surrounding the track are filled with over 100,000 cheering fans.
Though Combs was grateful for last year’s audience, he was anxious to get the full experience this year. Combs said, to him, the full experience means “having all the fans here.”
“After we did Daytona last year, everyone was like, ‘Man, I wish you could be here and see [NASCAR’s Daytona 500] when it’s at its best and when the whole thing’s going on,” Combs continued. “So that was something that I was adamant about wanting to do, and thankfully they had us back. Guess we did a good enough job last year to get invited back.”
The back-to-back performances were particularly special to Combs, as the country music star is a huge fan of NASCAR. “I grew up watching NASCAR and going to Charlotte Motor Speedway,” Combs said. “And then to be able to come here, it was my first time at the 500 last year, and I wanted to see it at its best too.”