Atlanta Motor Speedway has secured singer and heartthrob Michael Johns to sing the National Anthem and a mini concert as part of the Kroger Pre-Race Show before the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Oct. 26.

Johns, who quickly gained national fame for his soulful voice and handsome looks on American Idol’s seventh season, recently wrapped up performing on the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2008. The Perth, Australia native with ties to Georgia is geared up to perform before the Pep Boys Auto 500.

“I’m really excited actually,” said Johns. “I’ve never been to Atlanta Motor Speedway, but I’m a huge racing fan. My father was into racing and touring cars, so I grew up around race tracks in Australia. It’s going to be great.”

Johns moved to Georgia from Australia in 1998 to pursue a tennis scholarship at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton where he studied drama. He later moved to Atlanta to pursue his musical career and he also played Australian Rules Football for the Atlanta Kookaburras of the USAFL.

“Georgia is a second home for me – my home in America,” said Johns. “Most of my [American] friends are out there and I can wait to get back out there and head to Atlanta Motor Speedway.”

In addition to Johns’ National Anthem performance preceding the Pep Boys Auto 500, singer Katie Lawhorne will sing the National Anthem before Saturday’s festivities and Thea Agnew will do so on Friday. Lawhorne, a 13-year old Stockbridge, Ga. native, will provide a local flair for the National Anthem performances.

For fans interested in attending the Pep Boys Auto 500 and seeing Johns, Lawhorne and Agnew sing the National Anthem, great seats are available for as little as $39 for an adult ticket. Call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-877-AMS-TIX or 770-946-4211 and reserve your seat today.