NASCAR has been hosting a series of virtual events amid the coronavirus pandemic, and Alabama's Randy Owen was on hand to make Sunday's event as realistic as possible, performing the national anthem before the fifth eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race. Owen performed standing outside in front of a barn, playing a guitar as he sang an acoustic and county version of the anthem while wearing glasses and a red fleece jacket.
Sunday's race was the GEICO 70 at the virtual Talladega Superspeedway, which saw Alex Bowman take first place. Before the event, Owen also performed a virtual pre-race concert and chatted about the upcoming race. Owen joined NASCAR preeminent car owner and NASCAR Hall of Famer, Richard Childress as well as NASCAR.com host Alex Weaver for the online event. The musician is one of several acts who have performed ahead of NASCAR's virtual races, joining Tim Dugger, Cole Swindell, Justin Moore and Cody Cannon of the band Whiskey Myers.
Last year, Alabama canceled a series of concert dates due to Owen's health, sharing that he was dealing with vertigo and migraines. "Well, it's been stressed out and wore out touring," Owen told Taste of Country earlier this year. "I hope I can get past that, but you know, it takes a toll on your body. We do a show that's pretty strenuous on me. So I'm looking forward to it."
Owen formed Alabama in 1969 with his cousin, Teddy Gentry, and they were soon joined by their other cousin, Jeff Cook. The group combined traditional country and Southern rock to form their own unique sound and went on to secure over 40 No. 1 singles. Alabama has sold over 75 million records and is the most successful band in country music history. The band has won the CMA Entertainer of the Year Award for three consecutive years, was named the ACM Entertainer of the Year five times and was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2019.