Songs for the Speedway
by Justin Farrar | June 21, 2014
Any self-respecting fan of NASCAR will tell you, summer means weekends hanging at the speedway. Sweltering days blur into sticky nights, as the congealed smell of burnt rubber, greasy food, gasoline and sweat coats the skin. Then there's the awesome rumble of all those engines, rattling every bone in the body while your hero barrels down the track flirtin' with disaster. From each driver's introduction song to the hordes of rowdy tailgaters and campers blasting jams in the infield, music has long played an integral role in stock car racing. There are but two simple criteria every classic speedway song must meet: (1) It has to be about cars or racing or going fast (however metaphorical and figurative), and (2) it has to kick ass. So long as these two qualities are present, genre really doesn't matter. Consequently, NASCAR fans boast awfully broad tastes in music. Country, hip-hop, bluegrass, heavy metal ... they're up for anything, which is why they can shift effortlessly from The Charlie Daniels Band's "Stroker's Theme" to Sir Mix-A-Lot's "My Hooptie" to Kings of Leon's "Camaro." Whether you're hitting up the county speedway or making the pilgrimage to mythical Bristol, this playlist serves as the perfect soundtrack.