Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Peyton Manning to serve as honorary pace auto driver at Daytona 500

Peyton Manning to serve as honorary pace auto driver at Daytona 500

That will continue at Sunday's 60th annual Daytona 500, as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series gets underway for 2018 with actress Charlize Theron as the honorary starter, waving the green flag before the race, while former National Football League quarterback Peyton Manning will drive the pace auto.

"Serving as the Honorary Pace Car Driver will be a truly unique and exciting experience", Manning said in a release from the track. "I'm really looking forward to race day".

The 60th annual Daytona 500 is scheduled for Sunday at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR has held a race at the 2.5-mile, high banked tri-oval since 1959.

Manning retired after the 2015 season after the Broncos' victory in Super Bowl 50.

The former Super Bowl Champion will lead the reigning NASCAR champion out to start the race, as Martin Truex Jr. and the Denver-based Furniture Row racing team look to defend their title as NASCAR's best. Throughout his career, Manning threw for an all-time record 71,940 yards and 539 touchdowns while being named NFL MVP five times.

"We're talking true star power with this announcement, as Peyton Manning is one of the legends of both college football and the NFL", Chip Wile, Daytona International Speedway president, said in a statement.

In recent years, other honorary pace vehicle drivers include Jay Leno (2006), Cal Ripken Jr.

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