Peyton Manning will drive the pace car at the Daytona 500 this weekend
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Manning, the retired NFL quarterback and two-time Super Bowl champion, is a spokesman for Nationwide. The insurance company serves as the primary sponsor of Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 88 Chevrolet driven by Alex Bowman, who replaced the retired Dale Earnhardt Jr. behind the wheel.
As the honorary pace car driver, Manning will lead the field driving a Toyota Camry XSE before the first lap of NASCAR’s season-opening race.
“Serving as the Honorary Pace Car Driver will be a truly unique and exciting experience,” Manning said in a statement. “I’m really looking forward to race day.”
Manning left the NFL after the 2015 season, when he won a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos. He won his first Super Bowl championship with the Indianapolis Colts after the 2006 season. In addition to Nationwide, Manning retained endorsement deals with other brands, including pizza chain Papa John’s (NASDAQ:PZZA).
Earnhardt, who retired last season as NASCAR’s most popular driver, will also be in attendance at Daytona International Speedway. He was recently named the grand marshal of the race.
The 60th running of the Daytona 500 will start at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.