Country music star Frankie Ballard will entertain race fans with a special  performance on Kentucky Speedway's infield Kroger pre-race stage prior to the July 9 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts.

The singer/songwriter's third studio album El Rio is scheduled to be released June 10. An album he describes as being "a spiritual journey."

"This album has already changed my life, and nobody's heard it yet," Ballard said. "A lot of my rock and roll influences like John Mellencamp and Bob Seger have leaked their way into this album."

Fans are able to hear his newest single "El Camino" described by many as an upbeat and light song with a summertime vibe.

The Warner Bros. Records Nashville artist has teamed up with Grammy award-winner Chris Stapleton, Kip Moore, Jaren Johnston, The Warren Brothers and well-known songwriter Craig Wiseman for "Cigarette," "Sweet Time," "Waste Some of Mine," and "Little Bit of Both."

El Rio follows his Sunshine & Whiskey album which produced three consecutive No. 1 singles - "Sunshine & Whiskey," "Helluva Life," and "Young & Crazy."

Ballard's signature rock sounds can be heard at 5:15 p.m., prior to the Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts race where race tickets are as low as $59.

Fans can enjoy stage-side and trackside views of the show by adding a daily Kroger Fan Zone pass to ticket orders. Passes also provide a FanVision unit rental on Cup day, pit road access at designated times, the opportunity to view NASCAR inspections and garages on race day along with enjoying activities and concessions in an area near pit road and surrounding Victory Lane.

Tickets, Kroger Fan Zone passes and campsites are on sale at http://www.kentuckyspeedway.com, by calling (859) 578-2300 or visiting our speedway ticket offices at 1 Speedway Dr., Sparta, KY., 41086, just off Interstate 71 Exit 57 and Ky. Hwy. 35 N.

The Michigan-born artist caught the public's attention with two Top 30 singles, "Tell Me You Get Lonely" and "A Buncha Girls," after appearing at the Grand Ole Opry, opening for country superstar Kenny Chesney and performing on major tours such as Taylor Swift and Bob Seger.

The Sunshine & Whiskey album made its debut in 2014 providing listeners with a mixture of country classics to blues legend. From southern rock to contemporary sounds, all held together by the force of his artistic personality.

"It's got lots of different emotions, from partying and having fun to some really deep stuff," said Ballard.

The fun sides include "Whiskey" and "Drinky Drink" where the deeper stuff is heard through "Don't tell Mama I was Drinking," a song that hearkens to the stories of tragedy and despair that were once a country mainstay.

"It sounds like something Waylon Jennings would cut," Ballard explains.

His hit single, "Sunshine & Whiskey," earned Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) platinum-certified and landed him on the Top 5 album charts.

Country music fans have recently seen him on tour with Florida Georgia Line on their Anything Goes Tour.

Kentucky Speedway's 2016 season begins in July with the return of a NASCAR tripleheader weekend anchored by the July 9 Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts. The Camping World Truck Series starts the weekend with the Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 Thursday, July 7 and the XFINITY Series Alsco 300 Friday, July 8.

The General Tire Super Weekend at Kentucky Speedway is highlighted by the return of the XFINITY Series on Saturday, September 24 for the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 and the ARCA Racing Series' 23rd track appearance Friday, September 23 for the Crosley 150.

-Kentucky Speedway-