DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 10, 2009) – NBA basketball star and nearby Mainland High School graduate Vince Carter will serve as the Honorary Pace Car driver for the 51st annual Coke Zero 400 Powered Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Saturday, July 4, President Robin Braig announced.

            Carter, who currently plays for the New Jersey Nets, will pace the 43-car field prior to the green flag waving on the Independence Day holiday classic.

“We’re honored to have one of Daytona Beach’s favorite sons, Vince Carter, serve as the Honorary Pace Car driver,” Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said. “Vince has been a star for our community on and off the court and we’re thrilled to have him lead the 43-car field to the green flag for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.”

Carter led the nearby Mainland High School Buccaneers to the Class 6A state basketball championship in 1995 before attending the University of North Carolina where he made a pair of Final Four appearances with the Tar Heels.

He was a first-round draft pick of the Toronto Raptors, earned the NBA Rookie of the Year honors in 1999 and won the NBA Slam Dunk competition in 2000. The 6-foot-6 guard was part of the gold-medal winning United States Basketball Team at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

For the last five seasons, Carter has starred for the New Jersey Nets where he has led them to four playoff appearances.

Carter has shined off the court with his Embassy of Hope Foundation, assisting children and families in the Daytona Beach area, New Jersey and Toronto. Most recently, Carter, along with his mother Michelle Carter-Scott, donated $1.6 million to the Stewart-Marchman-Act Foundation to help build a 100-bed treatment center for alcohol and drug addiction recovery to be named “The Vince Carter Sanctuary.”

Carter and his mother Carter-Scott will be honored during the Stewart-Marchman-Act Foundation Annual Dinner on Wednesday, July 1 at the Daytona 500 Club for their numerous contributions to the local community.

Tickets remain available for the Independence Day holiday classic – the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. For tickets, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit