With NASCAR rolling into Talladega Superspeedway for the Geico 500 this weekend, I want to throw it back to a performance by one country artist in particular, who might love this race more than anyone else, Mr. Riley Green.
The Alabama native, who grew up less than an hour from Talladega, covered Eric Church’s #1 hit “Talladega” back in 2016 to a packed out crowd at The Brewhouse in Rome, Georgia.
A co-write by Eric and Luke Laird, “Talladega” was included on Eric’s 2014 album The Outsiders, and has since gone on to become a #1 radio hit and fan-favorite from Chief.
It’s no secret that both Riley and Eric are huge NASCAR fans, as Riley has his own song dedicated to racing called “Numbers On The Cars”, and mentions people like the great Dale Earnhardt Sr. in a number of his other tracks like “Bury Me In Dixie”.
Eric is also a well-known Dale Sr. fan… seeing as he’s a native North Carolinian like myself, it’s kind a non-negotiable.
And if you’re not a racing fan (which you should be), Riley encourages you to check out the one and only Talladega Superspeedway for yourself:
“Race day at Talladega is like nothing else. You don’t have to be a fan of NASCAR to enjoy going to a race at Talladega, that’s what I try to tell people.
You know, I don’t keep up with the points race, so to speak. I don’t have really a favorite driver that I just pull for, but I enjoy going to the race because of that atmosphere.
You can feel the tradition down there, and everyone’s just excited about being there.”
Though Eric has mentioned that the song isn’t really about NASCAR, if you name a song “Talladega” and sing about racing… it kind of is, I think.
I understand that it serves as a broader example of life experiences and growing up, but if you ask anyone in this crowd, they’re likely to tell you it’s their race day anthem… and I’m guessing Riley’s, too.
And with the big race coming up at ‘Dega in a couple days, go ahead and turn this one up: