Multiple Grammy Award-winning artist LeAnn Rimes will sing the National Anthem for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced Thursday.
“To sing the national anthem at one of the most prestigious racing events is truly an honor,” Rimes said in a release. “The adrenaline at the Speedway is felt around the world and I know I am one of millions who is so excited to hear those six legendary words ‘ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.'”
Added IMS President Doug Boles, “The pre-race pageantry of the Indianapolis 500 is one of the most exciting traditions in sports and a highlight of those activities is the singing of our national anthem. We are looking forward to LeAnn Rimes’ performance and hearing her amazing voice as we pay tribute to our great nation and the men and women who have served to defend our freedoms.”
Pre-race for this year’s Indianapolis 500 will likely stir emotions for fans, as it will also mark the last time Jim Nabors will sing “Back Home Again in Indiana.”
BMW has confirmed its driver line-ups for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship campaigns.
In an announcement made at its end-of-year Sports Trophy event on Friday night, BMW firmed up its roster across its factory WEC team and its customer RLL Racing IMSA squad.
Two of the 2018 BMW M8 GTEs will enter the WEC next year, joining a hotly-contested GTE-Pro class that already features Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and Ford.
BMW factory drivers Antonio Felix da Costa, Nick Catsburg, Augusto Farfus and Martin Tomczyk will share the two cars across the 13-month ‘super season’.
The quartet will be joined by Tom Blomqvist, Alexander Sims and Philipp Eng for the 24 Hours of Le Mans
In IMSA, the RLL Racing team will once again field Sims and John Edwards, who will be joined by the incoming Connor De Phillippi and Jesse Krohn.
BMW also confirmed on Friday night that Tom Blomqvist would see out the Formula E season with its Andretti-affiliated team, having been benched for Kamui Kobayashi in Hong Kong.