Luke Combs spent Valentine’s Day 2021 in Daytona, Fla., entertaining fans prior to the Daytona 500. The country star honored one NASCAR legend and hung out with another during his time at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday (Feb. 14).
Combs took the stage at Daytona in a Dale Earnhardt-themed letterman jacket: His right sleeve sported an American flag; the logo of the racing legend’s longtime primary sponsor, GM Goodwrench; and a Winston Motorsports patch, while the left sleeve featured Earnhardt’s car number. The back of the jacket included a photo of Earnhardt, his signature and a list of the years in which he won his seven Winston Cup Series championships.
Combs’ tribute to Earnhardt marked the 20-year anniversary of the NASCAR great’s death, during the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, on Feb. 18, 2001. Earnhardt was in the fourth and final turn of the race when he crashed into the track wall and sustained fatal injuries. His death prompted numerous safety enhancements within NASCAR.
Prior to his performance at the 2021 Daytona 500, Combs spent some time hanging out with Richard Petty, a current NASCAR team owner and the winningest driver in NASCAR Cup Series history. A photo shared to social media shows the two conversing outside of a tour bus.
Combs’ five-song set at the Daytona 500 was his first performance in exactly one year, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, as well as the first big performance at a car-racing track since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Combs did perform virtually for NASCAR’s last 2020 race, in November.
Combs has kept busy during the pandemic by livestreaming at-home performances of multiple new songs. He also recently shared that he’d been working on a bluegrass album during his downtime, and though it’s since been set aside so that he can work on his third studio album, Combs did recently release a collaboration with rising bluegrass star Billy Strings, “The Great Divide.”
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