Earlier this month, NASCAR announced Hunt as one of the featured performers at the annual ceremony, set for December 5th, but Hunt’s November 21st arrest in East Nashville has scuttled the appearance. Hunt was stopped by police last Thursday after being observed driving south in the northbound lanes of Ellington Parkway and was charged with driving under the influence and having an open container in his vehicle. The “Body Like a Back Road” vocalist, 34, issued a statement following the incident in which he apologized for a “poor and selfish decision” to drive after drinking. “It won’t happen again,” he wrote.
The NASCAR Awards, which honor 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch and top drivers of the year, are the culmination of the motorsports giant’s Champions Week. This marks the first time the event has been held in Nashville.
Despite Hunt’s absence, country music will still frame the awards: “Good Vibes” singer Chris Janson is set to perform, and Cassadee Pope will co-host along with NASCAR analyst Rutledge Wood. A possible replacement for Hunt has not yet been announced.