DAYTONA BEACH , Fla. (Feb. 11, 2009) – Mercury Nashville recording artist and two-time Dancing With The Stars champion Julianne Hough will sing the National Anthem for the 51st annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 15.

“We’re excited to welcome Julianne Hough to the ‘World Center of Racing’ and have her participate in pre-race ceremonies for the Daytona 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said. “With hundreds of thousands of race fans in attendance and millions more watching on television, we look forward to hearing Julianne’s stirring rendition of the National Anthem prior to the start of ‘The Great American Race.’ ”

Hough recently topped both the country and Top 200 charts with her self-titled album, as well as with the infectious debut single “That Song In My Head.” This year has taken Hough on tour with Brad Paisley, awarded her an Emmy nomination, led her to the stages of Good Morning America and The View, seen her top Maxim’s Hot 100 list and grace the covers of CosmoGirl, Shape, USA Today and People. Hough will be on tour this summer with George Strait.

While Hough is a rising country music sensation, she is also an accomplished professional dancer with two victories on ABC’s hit show “Dancing With The Stars.” Hough was paired with American Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno and open-wheel star Helio Castroneves in her wins and will return for her fifth season on the show in March.

Tickets for DIRECTV Speedweeks 2009 and the 51st annual Daytona 500 are available online at or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.