NC State's marching band to play anthem at Martinsville Speedway

csmith@newsobserver.comSeptember 17, 2013 

— N.C. State’s marching band – the “Power Sound of the South” – has been invited to play the national anthem at the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 27.

The band, along with Martinsville Speedway representatives and NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr., held an event Tuesday at NCSU’s Bell Tower on Hillsborough Street to make the announcement.

Clay Campbell, president of the Virginia racetrack, said he watched a YouTube video of the band performing at a football game last season for Military Appreciation Day and was convinced they should play at his event.

“It brought a tear to my eye; my goodness, they’re awesome,” Campbell said. “I said at that point, we’ve got to have them playing the national anthem. They are just out of this world.”

The band will play before the race begins at 12:30 p.m. and stand on the track during pre-race festivities. That in itself has Katie Magee, a junior in meteorology and a piccolo player, excited.

“It’s such an honor to be able to actually go on the track and play,” she said. “I’ll be able to show off to all of my friends who are die-hard NASCAR fans and say, ‘Oh, Martinsville Speedway? I’ve been on the track.’ ”

Stenhouse interacted with the band and even gave away a pair of special edition Oakley Batwolf sunglasses – red and black, of course – to a member of the band who simply asked, “Have any extras?”

Another member of the band promptly asked, “Can I have your shirt?”

Before fielding questions, Stenhouse also tried his hand at playing the bass drum and a few different brass instruments. That produced a few laughs.

“I don’t think I deserve to stand in a drum line or even a marching band,” Stenhouse said. “These guys are really good, and obviously that’s why they’re coming out to Martinsville Speedway.”

Smith: 919-829-4841; Twitter: @RCorySmith

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