It basically goes without explaining that NASCAR shares a close connection to country music and Southern rock. Many country and Southern rock artists have performed at NASCAR-related events. Some have even been granted the honor of singing the National Anthem before a big race.
To celebrate their musical connections, NASCAR gathered a bunch of popular artists together for an entirely NASCAR-themed album. That album was appropriately titled Hotter than Asphalt, and was released in February 1996.
Some of the artists featured on the album included Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams Jr., and Alabama. While the album mostly featured contributions from country stars, one major Southern rock artist took part in the project as well. That artist was none other than Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Skynyrd contributed two tracks to the album, including a collaboration with comedian Killer Beaz titled “Save Up.” The band’s other inclusion on the album was an intense track titled “White Knuckle Ride,” which was the second song included in the track list.
The song is told from the perspective of a NASCAR driver. It captures how they feel as they rev up their engine and take off soaring around the track, and how victory is the number one thing on their mind. As lead vocalist Johnny Van Zant sings:
“It’s a white knuckle ride. There’s only one thing on my mind. It’s being the first to cross that finish line…If don’t run outta gas, and my tires last, I‘m gonna take that checkered flag.”
The drive of the guitars pushes the song on the fast track. Just listening to it, you feel like you’re in the stands watching a race take place before your eyes.
Go ahead, buckle up, and prepare for a wild “White Knuckle Ride” as you listen to Skynyrd celebrate NASCAR in their supersonic track. If this doesn’t get you hyped up for the next race, we don’t know what will!