Legendary actor Larry Hagman, who played J.R. Ewing in the hit television series "Dallas," will serve as the Honorary Race Director for the UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race Saturday night, Oct. 15, at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Hagman started his career as a stage actor and performed in several Broadway productions before turning his attention to the small screen. He became a television star in 1965, landing the role of Major Nelson on "I Dream of Jeannie." But it was the role of J.R. Ewing on Dallas that earned Hagman a place in the annals of television history.

On Nov. 21, 1980, more than 350 million people in 57 countries tuned in to learn "Who Shot J.R.?" The episode which revealed the identity of the person who shot the Texas oil man at the end of the previous season is the still the second highest rated program in television history.

Dallas ran for 13 seasons, concluding in 1991. In 1996, Hagman starred in "Dallas: J.R. Returns," a two-hour television movie which was a ratings blockbuster.

Off screen, Hagman is involved in numerous civic and philanthropic activities. He was chairperson of the American Cancer Society's great American Smokeout from 1981 to 1992. A liver transplant recipient, Hagman also works to heighten awareness of the importance of organ donation.

In his role as Honorary Race Director for the UAW-GM Quality 500, Hagman will attend the pre-race drivers' meeting, greet drivers and dignitaries during pre-race ceremonies and visit the control tower.

Arista Nashville recording artist Phil Vassar will sing the national anthem prior to the UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race Saturday night, Oct. 15, at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Vassar skyrocketed to country music stardom in 2000 with the release of his self-titled debut album which featured a quartet of top-10 hits including "Just Another Day in Paradise," "Carlene" and "Six-Pack Summer."

Vassar's most recent album, Shaken Not Stirred, serves a bridge from today back to his childhood in Lynchburg, Va., with songs such as "In a Real Love," "Good Old Days," and "I Miss the Innocence."

Vassar is also an accomplished pianist and song writer, having penned numerous hit songs for such artists as Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Jo Dee Messina and Engelbert Humperdinck.

The Charlotte Chapter of the Singing Men of America will perform the national anthem during pre-race ceremonies for the Dollar General 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday night, Oct. 14, and Justin Crouse, an employee at Lowe's corporate headquarters in Mooresville, N.C., will sing the national anthem prior to Bojangles' Pole Night qualifying on Thursday, Oct. 13.

Montgomery Gentry, the Country Music Association's 2000 Duo of the Year, will bring its hard-charging music to NASCAR as part of the UAW-GM Quality 500 pre-race show, Saturday night, Oct. 15, at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Montgomery Gentry will perform a one-hour concert presented by Miller Lite on the frontstretch of the famed 1.5-mile superspeedway.

The duo's smash hit, "Something To Be Proud Of," is currently No. 1 on Billboard's country singles chart.

Tickets for all events during UAW-GM Quality 500 Week, including round five of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, can be purchased by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online here.