Race Weekend Central

Here’s Who’s Performing & Appearing at Phoenix

NASCAR continues the trek out West for the second consecutive week as it rolls into the desert at Phoenix Raceway.

Several storylines have already emerged as the NASCAR Cup Series season hits week four, fresh off another TV ratings increase from the race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Will Ford or Toyota be able to dethrone Chevrolet, who has swept the trio of Cup races thus far and has taken eight of nine events across the sport?

Phoenix will also be a test for both the present and future. A new short-track package will debut this weekend as the top drivers get their feet wet on the track that will host the championship once again in November.

Here are the dignitaries who will be featured in pre-race ceremonies for the Cup race.

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Invocation: Pastor John Karolus will give the prayer prior to the Shriners Children’s 500. Karolus pastors Scottsdale Shepherd of the Desert Lutheran in Scottsdale, Ariz.

National Anthem: Trumpeter and Phoenix fan favorite Dr. Jesse McGuire will perform the anthem ahead of the Cup race.

Grand Marshal: Delivering the most famous words in motorsports will be Gianna and Juan Diego, International Patient Ambassadors for the Shriners Children’s Hospitals.

Flyover: A pair of F-16s and A-10s from the Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center in Tucson, Ariz., will fly over the 1-mile track during the national anthem.

Pre-Race Concert: The Pickup Lines, who frequently perform in the Greater Phoenix area, will play the pre-race concert before the Shriners Children’s 500.

About the author

Luken Glover joined the Frontstretch team in 2020 as a contributor, furthering a love for racing that traces back to his earliest memories. Glover inherited his passion for racing from his grandfather, who used to help former NASCAR team owner Junie Donlavey in his Richmond, Va. garage. A 2023 graduate from the University of the Cumberlands, Glover is the author of "The Underdog House," contributes to commentary pieces, and does occasional at-track reporting. Additionally, Glover enjoys working in ministry, coaching basketball, playing sports, and karting.

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