DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Every February, “The Great American Race” brings both the biggest stars in NASCAR and the biggest stars in sports and entertainment to Daytona International Speedway. This year is no different as NASCAR kicks off its season with the biggest stock car race in the world – the 54th Daytona 500 – on Sunday, Feb. 26.
Representing the music scene, Rock superstar Lenny Kravitz will perform three songs during the Pre-Race Show (FOX, 12 p.m. ET). Pat Monahan of the multiplatinum, three-time Grammy-winning group Train will sing the National Anthem. Fellow Train band members Scott Underwood and Jimmy Stafford will also be in attendance, as well as Steve Harwell, lead vocalist for the pop rock band SmashMouth.
A plethora of sports stars will be present, including Super Bowl Champion New York Giants defensive players Mathias Kiwanuka, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, as well as Pro Football Hall of Famer Lynn Swann and Tampa Bay Lightning players Vincent Lecavalier and Marc Andre-Bergeron.
WWE superstar and 10-time World Champion John Cena will wave the green flag as Honorary Starter, while UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones will be introduced at the driver’s meeting, participate in pre-race ceremonies and ride in one of the honorary race official cars as Honorary Official for NASCAR’s most prestigious race. Also, UFC stars Christopher Tuchscherer, Brock Lesnar and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone will be in attendance.
Stars from the Twentieth Century Fox movie The Three Stooges will also join the festivities. Jane Lynch and Kate Upton, cover model for the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, will deliver the four most famous words in motorsports – “Drivers, start your engines” – as Grand Marshals. Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos and Will Sasso – starring as Larry, Moe & Curly – will start the action by delivering the green flag.
In addition, Canadian-American actor and director Jason Priestley will attend the 54th running of the Daytona 500. He is best known for his role as Brandon Walsh on the early 1990s television series Beverly Hills, 90210.
For more information on tickets for the 54th annual Daytona 500 and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access, race fans can go online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.
If you are unable to attend in person, be sure to tune in to the Daytona 500 on FOX on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. ET.
Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and fans can also follow NASCAR (@NASCAR) and hashtags #NASCAR and #DAYTONA500.