Zach Sanchez and Rascal Martinez
Rascal and The Pack won the 32nd Annual Texaco Country Showdown in North Platte Saturday, hosted by KODY-AM during the annual Honky-Tonk Barbeque competition.
The showdown is America's largest country music talent search and radio promotion. This win marks completion of the first step in the prestigious national contest.
Rascal's combination of musical talent, stage presence, charisma, musicianship and originality caught the attention of judges including Todd Kramer, Katy Pedersen and Diane Herrick.
Rascal and The Pack will advance to the state final of the Texaco Country Showdown vying for $1,000, and the opportunity to perform at one of five regional competitions in the fall.
The Nebraska State Finals will be held Aug. 24 at the State Fair in Grand Island. Regional winners receive an all expense paid trip to the National Final, exuding talent and energy in their performances to compete for the $100,000 grand prize and the national title.
Rascal plays guitar and sings, accompanied by Zach Sanchez on drums. They performed an original song and a medley of classic covers.
Rascal is from Sutherland and Sanchez is from North Platte.
The first runner up was 22-year-old April Jackson from Omaha, who sang "Redneck Woman" and "Before He Cheats" to backup recordings.
There were eight contestants, organizer Nicole Hardy said.