The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Jul. 18, 2019

Waltmire to sing for Friday’s NASCAR race

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

2017 Crestview High School graduate and current Bowling Green State University education major Griffen Waltmire will take center stage before Friday night’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Kentucky Speedway.

After setting the wheels in motion earlier this year, Waltmire, the son of Ron and Tina Waltmire of Convoy, is scheduled to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the Alsco 300.

Griffen Waltmire will sing The National Anthem before Friday’s NASCAR Xfinity race in Kentucky. photo provided

“In early 2019, I reached out to the only email I could find on the Kentucky Speedway website and asked them to direct me to someone who could make this happen,” Waltmire explained. “Weeks later, I received an email from the track administrator who asked me to send in a minute and a half rendition, so I sent them a clip of me singing at a BGSU hockey game that I believed showcased my best ability and shortly after, they offered me a spot to sing at the Xfinity Race this summer. I couldn’t pass up the offer.”

It won’t be the first time Waltmire, 21, a lifelong NASCAR fan, has performed at a pro sporting event. He previously performed before 6,500 fans at a Fort Wayne Tin Caps game. That prior experience will come in handy, because he won’t be able to rehearse at the 69,900 seat venue in Sparta, Kentucky.

“The only rehearsal time that I get is on my own and a little sound check before I go out in front of everybody,” Waltmire explained. “I was told everything will be under control when I get to the stage.”

“I am only concerned about the way they’re going to produce this,” Waltmire continued. “Technology is always something to worry about and I have no idea what microphone or sound system is like and I am hoping I can cope and adjust to that pretty easily. Nerves will come when I get there, but I’m pretty tough when it comes to stage fright.”

Waltmire went on to explain that he’s ready to embrace what many would consider to be the opportunity of a lifetime.

“I am very excited to learn and expand my experiences by doing this,” Waltmire said. “I am also very privileged to honor all of the veterans and the active military women and men. Even if I don’t get to speak to each service member in my rendition on Friday night, I hope that I can at least send message of support and care to the whole community that I am proud to be an American and that I am thankful for their sacrifice to this country.”

“Overall, I am thrilled and ready for Friday to come. I feel like everything as lead me to this point and I can’t wait to see what’s on the other side after it’s over. It is my job to represent Van Wert, Willshire, and Wood County – the places that have brought me to this time in my life.”

Coverage of Friday night’s Alsco 300 will begin at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Network, which can be found on channel 159 on DISH Network, channel 220 on DirecTV, and channel 323 on Spectrum.

POSTED: 07/10/19 at 8:04 am. FILED UNDER: News