Former NFL Great Peyton Manning to Serve as Honorary Pace Car Driver for Daytona 500 Sunday
By Andrew Booth, DIS Public Relations Director // February 16, 2018
Daytona 500 celebrating 60 years
DAYTONA, FLORIDA – Peyton Manning, the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback and Nationwide member/spokesperson, will serve as the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the 60th annual DAYTONA 500 on Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway.
The DAYTONA 500, first held in 1959 at the famed 2.5-mile high-banked tri-oval, is the season-opening race (TV – FOX, FOX Deportes; Radio – MRN, Sirius XM) for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Manning will be behind the wheel of a Toyota Camry XSE pacing the 40-car field prior to taking the green flag.
“Serving as the Honorary Pace Car Driver will be a truly unique and exciting experience,” Manning said. “I want to thank NASCAR, Daytona International Speedway and Nationwide for making this possible. I’m really looking forward to race day.”
Manning retired from the NFL following the 2015 season, which he capped by leading the Denver Broncos to a Super Bowl victory over the Carolina Panthers.
Manning also led the Indianapolis Colts to the 2006 Super Bowl title, beating the Chicago Bears. In an 18-year NFL career, Manning passed for 71,940 yards and 539 touchdowns, both all-time records. He was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player five times and was Super Bowl MVP in the Colts’ victory.
— Daytona International Speedway (@DISupdates) February 13, 2018
Manning’s first year of eligibility for the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be 2021, when he will be considered a lock for induction.
As a collegiate player at the University of Tennessee, Manning led the Volunteers to the 1997 Southeastern Conference championship and was a consensus All-American as a senior.
He became Tennessee’s all-time leading passer with 11,201 yards and 89 touchdowns and won 39 of 45 games as a starter, breaking the SEC record for career victories. Manning was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2017.
“We’re talking true star power with this announcement, as Peyton Manning is one of the legends of both college football and the NFL,” said Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile.
“He also has the persona and popularity to match his achievements. He’ll be an awesome Honorary Pace Car Driver and a great addition to our lineup of high-profile guests for the 60th DAYTONA 500.”
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