A bit of a break from the normal routine as Spade Racing takes a look at the best Nascar television theme songs of all-time. (note—a * after the song title means it is the actual documented song title—all others are descriptions by me).
PART 2—Songs 10-6
10. TNT 2009 “Highway Star”*—“Highway Star” is a decent, if a bit obvious, choice. Buckcherry is a decent, but not obvious at all, choice. Put together we get an awesome theme that kicked—arguably the best combination of “old and new”. Unfortunately it only got used for a single year for six races.
Fun Fact: Deep Purple’s original version of “Highway Star” was used in a Nextel commercial starring Jeff Gordon.
9. Fox 00’s & current “Twangy Guitar”—Officially called “Nascar on Fox theme”, this song is immediately noticeable for its hard-charging beat and its off-and-on use of guitars with a noticeable twang to it. A great combo of hard rock and country flavor—just like Nascar itself.
Fun Fact: “Nascar on Fox theme” composer Scott Scheer also created Fox’s themes for NFL, NHL, and MLB coverage.
8. ESPN Auto Racing 8x “18th Avenue (Kansas City Nightmare)”*—You could be excused if you didn’t realize that the basis of ESPN’s long-running theme song was by the former Cat Stevens of all people. A song that couldn’t have less to do with motorsports had its instrumental bridge turned into an awesome anthem of speed throughout ESPN’s “Auto Racing 82/83/84 etc.” years.
Fun Fact: “18th Avenue (Kansas City Nightmare)” is from the album “Catch Bull at Four, which spent three weeks as #1 on the Billboard Album Charts.
7. TNN Motorsports mid-90’s “Rotunda”—Lacking in name or easy description, I chose a name based on the column of graphics that whirls around as this song plays. A bit of an ironic pair, the former “The Nashville Network” chose a very non-country song for its Nascar coverage. Goes to show that sometimes the less-obvious choice works best, as this classy song complimented some great underrated coverage.
Fun Fact: In addition to Nascar, TNN Motorsports also had coverage of such racing series as NHRA and the IRL.
6. CBS mid-90’s “Rock Symphony”—For three years CBS used this beautifully-arranged combination of orchestral sounds with a wailing guitar and pumping beats. Just listening to a few seconds of it makes you want to get in front of the TV and wait to see the new paint schemes whirl around Daytona.
Fun Fact: CBS would typically hold off on introducing new theme songs and graphics packages till the day of the Daytona 500, using the “old” packages for Busch Clash and qualifying coverage.