Luke Combs Plays the Daytona 500: ‘Country Music and NASCAR, Man, it Just Kinda Goes Together’
On Sunday (Feb. 20), Luke Combs was in Daytona Beach, Fla. to perform the pre-concert ahead of the 2022 Daytona 500 race. It was a gig he'd played before. In 2021, he was booked to play the NASCAR event for the first time ever, but COVID-19 restrictions kept crowds limited. This time around, the singer explained in a press conference before the race, he was excited to get the full effect.
"After we did Daytona last year, everyone was like, 'Wish you could be here and see it when it's at its best when the whole thing's going on,'" Combs recounted. "So that was something I was adamant about wanting to do, and thankfully they had us back."
After all, 2021 wasn't just Combs' first year playing the show. It was also the first year that he -- a dedicated NASCAR fan -- had ever gotten to attend the race.
"I just grew up around it. Grew up watching it with my grandfather," he continues. "It was always something that I loved. And country music and NASCAR, man, it just kinda goes together."
Safe to say, he'll be sticking around after his show to watch the race. That's something Combs did last year and is eager to do again, even though it led to some logistical difficulties in 2021.
"I actually got stuck in Florida for five days because there was an ice storm in Nashville, so we couldn't make it home. My band and crew left before the race started and then we wanted to stay and see the race, so we actually ended up staying at my manager's beach house for five days," the singer says, cracking up. "And I still wanted to come back! Yeah, man. Why come all this way and play and not watch the race?! You know what I mean?"
Combs wasn't the only country star on hand for the big race on Sunday -- Trace Adkins sang the national anthem to kick off the event. During his time onstage, Combs performed his current single, "Doin' This," which was broadcast on the FOX telecast. Also during the show, he played hits like "Beer Never Broke My Heart" and "Forever After All."
As for who he'll be rooting for now in the race? Combs is keeping those cards close to the chest.
"I don't have too many public allegiances as far as drivers go. I like to keep that inside, you know? Don't wanna piss anybody off," he laughingly quips, before adding, "Dale Jr. I'm going for Jr., ok? Pulling for Jr. today."