NASCAR fans from across the country flocked to their television sets on Sunday (May 17) to catch live racing from Darlington Raceway, the first race since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic brought the live races to a halt.

Before the race, Darius Rucker sang the national anthem to all those watching from home, as well as the race car drivers who gathered there to hit the track. Unfortunately, there was no one in the stands to enjoy the performance, as the racing series continues to restrict fans from attending the races due to the ongoing pandemic.

Rucker appears to be singing the anthem in a remote appearance in front of an inserted background in the video above. He delivers a strong, clear version of the song as the drivers stand attentively for the time-honored tradition.

Following the three-time Grammy Award winner’s performance, doctors and nurses from around the country gave the command to start engines at the much-anticipated race, which NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick won.

"I just want to thank everybody from NASCAR and all the teams for letting us do what we do," Harvick said after the race, according to ESPN. "I didn't think it was going to be that different, then we won and it's dead silent out here. We miss the fans."

Even Blake Shelton showed up virtually during pre-race activities, as the telecast shared his snarky tweet to Luke Bryan. 

Earlier this year, Rucker, who prides himself as a huge NASCAR fan, headed to the Daytona International Speedway to perform the pre-race concert before this year’s Daytona 500.

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