DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA (August 20, 2017) - Riki Rachtman, the longtime host of MTV's hit show Headbangers Ball and current host of the Racing Rocks! Radio Show, will serve as an honorary emcee for Darlington Raceway's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 weekend on Sept. 1-3.
In his role, Rachtman will emcee various events during the Labor Day throwback weekend, including in the fan hospitality and display areas and pre-race ceremonies. He will also introduce Poison frontman Bret Michaels, who will be performing the Bojangles' Southern 500 pre-race concert.
"I've always thought that Darlington Raceway is the coolest race track. I came here as a fan in 1994 and have been here several times since then. It is an iconic place," Rachtman said. "Darlington is special and to help with their throwback celebration is definitely something I'm looking forward to."
"If you were ever a fan of hard rock music in the late 1980's and early 1990's, Riki Rachtman and Headbangers Ball was a staple for fans of that genre of music," track President Kerry Tharp said. "With Riki joining the likes of Bret Michaels, rock n' roll music fans will be excited for our Bojangles' Southern 500 race weekend."
Rachtman got his first break with Headbangers Ball in 1989 when he began hosting the program as a guest host for the popular TV show, which featured music videos of some of the country's most popular rock n' roll and heavy metal acts. He would later go on to be the main host of the show from 1990-1995. But it all started in 1989. Previously, he emerged on the music scene in the late 1980's when he opened the legendary rock n' roll venue, The Cathouse, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in Los Angeles, Calif. in 2016.
"That was a memorable time for me and the hard rock/heavy metal music industry," Rachtman said. "Headbangers Ball was a staple for millions of rock fans across the country."
Racing Rocks! is a two-hour weekly music-intensive program that provides rock fans coast-to-coast with news, exclusive insights, interviews and dedicated coverage from the world of NASCAR, primarily the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The program debuted in 2003 and is syndicated throughout the United States. He was also a contributor on the SPEED Channel.
Rachtman visited Darlington Raceway today, Aug. 20, on his final stop of a 48-state solo charity motorcycle ride, notably called 'Riki's Ride.' South Carolina was the final state on his journey, which took two months, over 13,000 miles and raised over $16,000 for cystic fibrosis.
"It made so much sense to end my epic ride at such an epic track," Rachtman said. "Riki's Ride raised thousands of dollars for a great cause. I'm looking forward to heading home to North Carolina today and being back here for the Sept. 1-3 Bojangles' Southern 500 race weekend very soon."
Darlington Raceway's award-winning throwback campaign is now The Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR featuring the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017. The NASCAR XFINITY Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 will race on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. Tickets are on sale now by calling 866-459-7223 or visiting DarlingtonRaceway.com. Children 12 and under can get in free to Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series race.
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