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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Country music star Keith Urban performed a surprise two-song set for reporters to kick off his day at the Daytona 500, where he was the featured artist for Sunday's pre-race concert.
"First time playing a press room," he quipped before launching into "Sister Golden Hair" by America.
It was the first press room concert performed by any of the musical acts that Daytona International Speedway officials have brought before the media. Urban said he wasn't trying to one-up previous music guests Big & Rich, Bon Jovi or Brooks & Dunn, but played because "I just wanted to get in my comfort zone."
Urban took brief questions and laughed awkwardly when asked what his favorite racing movie is.
"Uhhhhh ... `Cars'?" he stammered, choosing the animated movie over the more obvious "Days of Thunder" that featured his wife, Nicole Kidman, with her ex-husband, Tom Cruise.
Later, Urban and Cruise both attended the pre-race driver meeting. The two were seated on opposite ends, but Cruise heartily applauded Urban when the singer was introduced.
Urban also joked to reporters that he's never driven more than 65 mph in his personal car, before coming clean.
"Maybe 130," he said was his fastest. "It was pretty insane. It was only for a glimpse."
Urban is scheduled to perform three songs from his new album "Sweet Thing," which is set for release next month. He performed the title track for reporters to end the 10-minute session.
Urban also said he and Kidman were glad to offer their support to victims of the wildfires in their native Australia. The couple recently donated more than $300,000 to a relief fund.