CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - From Charlotte Motor Speedway: No stranger to the thrill of performing in front of thousands of fans, country music rising superstar Cole Swindell experienced a different kind of adrenaline rush on Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The platinum-selling singer and songwriter rode shotgun with NASCAR star Ryan Blaney in a NASCAR Racing Experience stock car, setting the stage for Swindell's May 19 Monster Energy All-Star Race Concert presented by Rayovac Batteries, Kwikset, George Foreman and National Hardware.
Swindell – a longtime NASCAR fan who attended his first race at Charlotte – has charted seven No. 1 hits in a career that is still on the rise. Nothing, however rose for Swindell like the lump in his throat once Blaney took him for a ride around Charlotte's 1.5-mile superspeedway.
"It was breathtaking," Swindell said. "I don't think I've ever been that fast before – especially in a car like that. It was crazy. Ryan told me he'd get me as close to the wall as he could and he definitely did. I was just holding on. It looks so smooth on television, but they're really grinding when they go through the turns. … You have to see it in person. I can't wait to see everybody out at the All-Star Race when they're really going to go after it."
Blaney didn't hit 220 miles per hour in his No. 12 Menards car, but his passenger said it felt like it.
"I was about 90 percent there," Blaney said. "It was fun. It's the first time I've given a ride to a friend of mine. I think that made me I go a little bit harder. … I love the music industry. I'm a big fan of (Swindell's) and I appreciate how hard those guys work to get to where they are. He's such a big fan of racing too, so it's cool to support him and have his support too."
Hours before Blaney chases a million-dollar victory in the All-Star Race on May 19, Swindell will perform for fans at 2 p.m. at the entrance outside of Turn 1 near Gate 8 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, adjacent to the Fan Zone. The concert is FREE with the purchase of any Monster Energy All-Star Race ticket.
The Cole Swindell All-Star Race Concert presented by Rayovac Batteries, Kwikset, George Foreman and National Hardware will kick off pre-race festivities for the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race on a stage located near the Turn 1 entrance. For just $20, fans can upgrade to a special Golden Ticket for early access to a reserved area directly in front of the stage. Golden Tickets are limited and can be purchased by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.
To purchase tickets, camping and race-day upgrades to the Monster Energy All-Star Race or the Coca-Cola 600, call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shop online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.