NASCAR & Auto Racing

Looking for more while waiting for the flag?

There should be plenty to do if you get an early start and beat some of the traffic to Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday. Among the options:

Singer/songwriter, actress and reality television personality Jessica Simpson will return to her country music roots on Saturday night.

Simpson will perform a 40-minute prerace concert and sing the national anthem at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The concert performance is free with the purchase of a ticket to the Bank of America 500.

Her appearance at the speedway will come just weeks after the Sept. 9 release of her highly anticipated debut country album, "Do You Know," on the Columbia Nashville label.

Gold medal winner is grand marshal

Five-time Olympic gold medal swimmer Aaron Peirsol will serve as the honorary grand marshal for the Bank of America 500. "I was thrilled to get my first chance to make the start command and get up close and personal with the action at one of the most exciting races in NASCAR," Peirsol said.

A veteran of three Olympic Games, Peirsol excelled this summer in Beijing, bringing home gold in the 100-meter men's backstroke and the 4-by-100 medley relay, as well as a silver medal in the 200 men's backstroke.

See what Sam Bass has on hand

The Sam Bass Gallery, featuring a unique look into the history of NASCAR racing through the eyes of an artist, is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, noon-5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. The gallery is located on Morehead Road, across from the speedway.

Just in time for race week, Bass has released four new illustrations. These additions to the artist's expansive portfolio include limited-edition prints and posters of the two Chevrolets driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and a "hot" fine art poster featuring Jeff Gordon's 2009 Sam Bass-designed ride, nicknamed "FireStorm" by DuPont Motorsports.

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