Fans will have plenty of pre-race entertainment at Tri-County Motor Speedway before the green flag waves for Saturday’s Blue Ridge 250.
Headlining the festivities will be a performance by hip-hop artist Ryan O’Leary, better known by his stage name WONDR. A lifelong racing fan who regularly incorporates NASCAR into his music, WONDR will bring out many of his best hits to get spectators hyped up for the on-track action.
While building his own, unique brand of music, WONDR has been following the development of the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour into one of the premier short track divisions in the United States. He is eager to be a part of the vibrant atmosphere on Saturday evening.
“For me, I see the CARS Tour like an independent record label,” WONDR said. “It’s taking the solid foundation of a sport that’s been laid out for many years and recreating the idea of what racing really is. It’s introducing opportunities to new drivers and new fans that otherwise would have never had a chance or even tuned in.”
Music has been a passion for WONDR since his father bought him his first guitar when he was in elementary school. He initially found his footing as a musician by covering rock bands like Led Zeppelin and Muse before branching off into hip-hop music while in college.
WONDR’s passion for motorsports also started during his childhood, having attended several NASCAR events, and participated in go-kart races. That love is prevalent in many of WONDR’s songs, with the music video for ‘Rich’ and ‘Earnhardt’ being filmed at his home track of Wake County Speedway and sampling audio from Dale Earnhardt’s Daytona 500 victory in 1998.
As WONDR’s music continues to grow in popularity, he is expanding his presence in motorsports. He recently collaborated with Hooters Racing during the 2023 LeithCars.com 160 at Wake County, which now features a WONDR sponsorship banner on the backstretch.
CARS Tour Director of Operations Keeley Dubensky is thrilled to have WONDR be a crucial part of an expanded pre-race atmosphere for the Blue Ridge 250. Dubensky wants fans to have as much fun as possible before CARS Tour races and said Saturday’s ultimate tailgate is a pertinent first step towards accomplishing that mission.
“We have been working hard to increase our fan engagement at the track,” Dubensky said. “Our goal is to provide an exceptional environment at every event, which is why we’re debuting our tailgate experience with WONDR at Tri-County. We are thankful to WONDR and his group for supporting short track racing and we hope to continue building on other projects in the future.”
WONDR relates to the story of the CARS Tour in regard to how the sturdy foundation of the series was built from the ground up. He believes the future is bright for the CARS Tour and is eager to see so many passionate race fans show up to Tri-County.
“[The success of the CARS Tour is] like the ability for me to record a song, release it, promote it and perform it live without needing a major label,” WONDR said. “Now, thanks to new forms of technology and communication, we can take things we’ve learned from our peers and build something bigger in a way that still honors our past but promotes our future.”
A full day of entertainment is planned for those attending Saturday’s Blue Ridge 250 at Tri-County when the grandstand gates open at 3 p.m. ET. Fans can enjoy the music up until the green flag at 7 p.m. ET along with other amenities that include games and live podcasts.
For more information on the CARS Late Model Stock Tour and the CARS Pro Late Model Tour, visit www.carsracingtour.com. Be sure to stay active and social with the tour by liking “CARS Tour” on Facebook, following @CARSTour on Twitter and scrolling through photos on Instagram cars_tour.
Additional series information can be obtained by calling the CARS Tour series office, located in
Mooresville, NC, at 704.662.9212.