NASCAR fans were on their feet for Darius Rucker's rendition of the National Anthem on Sunday during NASCAR's first race since early March. The sporting event shut down March 8 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but reopened today with social distancing protocols in place. Although they couldn't be there in person, fans were loving Rucker's version of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Rucker was right at home as he sang the National Anthem to open the Real Heroes 400 at the Darlington Raceway in South Carolina on Sunday. Rucker is a South Carolina-native himself, having formed his iconic band Hootie and the Blowfish there when he was in college. Fans thought he was the perfect person to mark the resuming of the NASCAR season after nearly two months off during the coronavirus pandemic.
Rucker's country music style got the race going in an energetic fashion on Sunday, which fans agreed was much-needed in the nearly-empty stadium. With no fans on hand and team members expected to maintain social distance, Rucker injected excitement into the abbreviated proceedings.
Still, critics of the event were sad to see Rucker out there at an event that many people feel is premature. NASCAR has listed many precautions it is taking in reopening its season this weekend, but the one thing it cannot offer personnel is testing. Critics say it is too great of a risk to be taking with coronavirus cases still on the rise.
Fans were glad to see something familiar at Sunday's race amid all the other changes being made to the sport. Rucker has performed the National Anthem at other NASCAR races before, including the Daytona 500 back in February. Here is a look at what fans were saying about his performance on Sunday afternoon.
You gave a great show at the Daytona 500 this year at least it didn’t rain for your performance LOL— Marilyn Ryan (@4kidsnscout) May 12, 2020
Great Place to Start
Yes Nascar is back baby and I can't think of a better place for Nascar to restart their season then doing it at Darlington South Carolina where Darius Rucker will Sing the National Anthem and Good Luck to Ryan Newman Thank God he made a quick recovery and can go back racing today https://t.co/6D8sgN0CcD— Comedic Genius 99 (@Dustinwillingha) May 17, 2020
there’s just something right about Darius Rucker singing the Star Spangled Banner pre NASCAR race— Brady Anthony (@bradyad0) May 17, 2020
Darius Rucker anthems >>>>>>— Andrew Natalizio (@anatalizio0523) May 17, 2020
Darius Rucker so true king— ً (@anakinsmando) May 17, 2020
Darius Rucker great job singing the anthem man! So pure— Shawn Spencer (@AboveAverage_Ed) May 17, 2020
NASCAR can’t even have Darius Rucker perform the national anthem without fans being like
“Looks like theyre trying time compensate for something”
“enough of this we want Larson back”
Jeez what the actual hell is wrong with y’all?? Y’all smell bad— bread perez (@bradxperez) May 12, 2020
Time to Race
Great rendition of the National Anthem by Darius Rucker. Let's start those engines.— Matt Garrett (@mcgarr613) May 17, 2020