The stars come out when the lights come on at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the only night race in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup, which will broadcast live on Saturday, Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC. From GRAMMY Award-winning music acts to the wives and girlfriends of some of NASCAR's biggest names and a free Teen Nation Tour concert, fans are in for a full week of music and fun this week as the motorsports world focuses on NASCAR's home track and the Bank of America 500.

Ashanti to Perform National Anthem

GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer and actress, Ashanti will perform the national anthem before the green flag drops on Saturday night's Bank of America 500 on Oct. 11.

Ashanti burst onto the music scene with her 2002 self-titled debut album "Ashanti." It landed the No. 1 spot on both the Billboard Top 200 and R&B album charts. The album topped the Billboard Album Chart and also won the GRAMMY for Best Contemporary R&B Album that year.

For more than a decade, she's continued making award winning music, racking up accolades including American Music Awards, Soul Train Awards, a MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Award, a Comet Award, Lady of Soul Awards, a Teen Choice Award and Nickelodeon's Kid Choice Award, along with many other nominations including an MTV movie award nomination and an NAACP Image Award Nomination for her role as Kera in "Coach Carter."

Ashanti released her latest, much anticipated album, Braveheart, earlier this year."Early InThe Morning" featuring French Montana is her current single.

She made her telefilm debut starring in "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz," opposite Miss Piggy and Kermit. She also starred in the Disney animated series "The Proud Family." She got her start in acting on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," and portrayed Dionne Warwick on "American Dreams."

In her feature film debut "Coach Carter," Ashanti co-starred with Samuel L. Jackson in the No. 1 box office hit (MTV/Paramount). Ashanti's other films include "Resident Evil Extinction," where she starred as "Nurse Betty" opposite Milla Jovovich (Sony Screen Gems). Previously, she starred in the hugely successful "John Tucker Must Die" (Twentieth Century Fox) alongside Jessie Metcalfe. Ashanti's next theatrical release is "Stuck" and she he is in a Syfy movie called "Mutant" debuting in November.

"I look forward to singing the national anthem and I'm excited to be at my first NASCAR race and have some fun with thousands of great fans," Ashanti said.

Charlotte Motor Speedway Country Jam Brings Action-Packed Lineup

As part of the biggest pre-race entertainment lineup in speedway history, the Charlotte Motor Speedway Country Jam will feature more than three hours of music and entertainment for fans. Headlined by 2014 Academy of Country Music Vocal Group of the Year, The Band Perry, the Country Jam will also feature performances by Parmalee and Jimmy Wayne.

In addition, fans will be treated to driver appearances by six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and driver of the No. 88 National Guard Chevy, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

All the pre-race entertainment will be broadcast for every ticket holder on the speedway's colossal HDTV, and fans can gain pit road infield access to the Country Jam and Pit Party with the purchase of a pre-race pit pass or driver introduction pass.

Teen Nation Tour Takes the Stage for Free Concert

Fans in town for the Bank of America 500 weekend can also take in the sounds of up-and-coming musical acts including Celeste Kellogg and JRyan, among others, as part of the traveling Teen Nation Tour.

The Teen Nation Tour is a peer-to-peer anti-bullying campaign and concert tour to educate/entertain youth about bullying and prevention. Teen artists spent more than a week in the Charlotte region spreading their anti-bullying message at area schools. Their visit wraps up with a three-day music festival during the Bank of America 500 weekend.

Performers will take to the Fan Stage, located in the Fan Zone, from 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 9; 2:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 10; and 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11.

From knockout qualifying on Thursday, Oct. 9 during the Bojangles' Pole Night, which will air at 7 p.m. on ESPN2, and the NASCAR Nationwide Series' best battling on Friday, Oct. 10 in the Drive for the Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, which will broadcast at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN2, to the only Saturday night race in the Chase, the Bank of America 500, fans can catch all the fun with weekend packages starting at just $99. To purchase tickets, call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or buy online at

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