Kentucky Speedway and entertainment partner WUBE-FM, Cincinnati's B-105, announce that country music artists Sherrie Austin, Tracy Byrd, Emerson Drive, Blake Shelton and Blue County will perform pre-race concerts at Kentucky Speedway during the 2004 season.

"We've partnered with B-105 through the past several seasons to ensure we deliver the best in country entertainment for our pre-race concerts. That partnership is paying big dividends once again," Kentucky Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark F. Cassis said.

Austin will perform on Sat., May 8, Byrd on Sat., June 19, Emerson Drive on Sat., July 10, Shelton on Sun., Aug. 15, and Blue County on Sat., Sept. 18. All concerts are included with the purchase of a race ticket.

"We're excited to team with Kentucky Speedway to bring fans another great country music line-up," B-105 Program Director Tim Closson said. "Racing, country music, B-105 and Kentucky Speedway just go hand-in-hand."

Austin will take the B-105 Country Soundstage prior to the ARCA RE/MAX Series "Channel 5-205" race. The Australian-born singer released her Broken Bow/C4 Records debut titled Streets of Heaven in August of 2003 and scored a top-20 hit with the title single. Austin earned an Academy of Country Music (ACM) nomination for the Top New Female Vocalist Award in 1999 for her No. 1 single "Never Been Kissed" from the album Love in the Real World.

Byrd, a 12-year industry veteran, will entertain speedway fans before the green flag drops for "The Meijer 300" NASCAR Busch Series event. Byrd's efforts on his 2003 The Truth About Men album produced a No. 1 title single and the popular follow-up hit "Drinkin' Bone." The popular vocalist released his first album in 1993 and has endeared himself to country listeners with hits such as "Good Way To Get On My Bad Side," "Holdin' Heaven," "I'm From The Country" "Lifestyles Of The Not So Rich and Famous," "The Keeper Of The Stars," "Ten Rounds With Jose Cuervo," and "Watermelon Crawl."

Canadian sextet Emerson Drive will be featured along with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers." The group gained popularity while extensively touring its home country and transformed that success into a self-titled U.S. release that featured the No. 3 Billboard single "Fall Into Me" along with follow-up hits "I Should Be Sleeping," "Only God (Could Stop Me Loving You)" and "How Lucky I Am." The band will make its second appearance at the speedway in as many years after playing in the venue's first "Country Stampede" festival in June 2003.

Country Music Academy (CMA) 2003 Horizon Award nominee Blake Shelton will set the stage for "The Belterra Casino Indy 300." His newest album, The Dreamer, features the second No. 1 single of his career titled "The Baby." His self-titled 2001 collection featured the No. 1 single "Austin" and the follow-up hit "Ol' Red." Shelton also took part in the 2003 Country Stampede.

The speedway will feature Blue County on "V-TAPS Triple Header Fall Classic" weekend. One of country music's hottest up-and-coming duos, Blue County combines the Midwestern influence of Aaron Benward with the Southern background of Scott Reeves. The tandem is currently climbing the charts with its first single, "Good Little Girls." Their Asylum/Curb Records debut album will be released in early 2004.

~ Kentucky Speedway ~