The pageant winner will drive the opening laps around Daytona International Speedway before the NASCAR season opener
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 9, 2024) – Madison Marsh, the recently crowned Miss America, will act as honorary pace car driver ahead of the coveted DAYTONA 500, leading the field around the 2.5-mile trioval of Daytona International Speedway before the green flag drops on Sunday, Feb. 18.
Alongside her Miss America duties, Marsh is also a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and is currently earning her master’s at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Public Policy, while serving as a second lieutenant in the US Air Force. The 22-year-old is the only active-duty Air Force officer to ever receive the national title in the history of the pageant.
“It’s an honor to have someone like Madison, who has so much spirit, passion and national pride, join us for the DAYTONA 500,” said Daytona International Speedway President Frank Kelleher. “She is a clear representation of everything we try to embody each race day, as we bring fans, drivers and teams together from different corners of the world to enjoy the traditions and the thrills of The Great American Race at this historic track.”
Madison Marsh claimed her crown on Sunday, Jan. 14 earlier this year, representing the state of Colorado alongside contestants from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. In addition to being an Air Force officer, graduate student and Miss America, she also co-founded her own nonprofit alongside her father and sister, called the Whitney Marsh Foundation. The nonprofit honors Madison’s late mother who died of pancreatic cancer.
Throughout the race week, Madison will also be making visits to Volusia County hospitals and elementary schools, to provide inspiration and be a strong presence within the local communities.
“Being the first Miss America to drive the official pace car at the DAYTONA 500 is an exciting honor,” said Marsh. “I’m thrilled to be part of this historic moment and to represent the tradition of speed, skill, and Americana at such an iconic event.”
Drivers in the NASCAR Cup, Xfinity, CRAFTSMAN Truck Series and ARCA Menards series will all fight for their own crown during Speedweeks Presented by AdventHealth.
The multi-day racing event features Qualifying Presented by Busch Light on Wednesday, Feb. 14, followed by the BlueGreen Vacations Duels on Thursday, Feb. 15, with drivers fighting for their spot on the grid in Sunday’s race.
On Friday, Feb. 16 the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series takes to the track in the Fresh From Florida 250, followed by a doubleheader taking place on Saturday, Feb. 17, featuring the ARCA Menards Series Hard Rock Bet 200 and the Xfinity Series United Rentals 300.
Then on Sunday, after a pre-race show from Pitbull and a gripping command given by Dwayne Johnson, Miss America herself will lead the field as she revs up her pace car before DJ Khaled waives the green flag to kick off the 66th running of the DAYTONA 500.
For more information regarding Speedweeks Presented by AdventHealth, please visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.
About Daytona International Speedway
Daytona International Speedway is a state-of-the-art motorsports facility and was awarded the SportsBusiness Journal’s prestigious Sports Business Award for Sports Facility of the Year in 2016. Daytona International Speedway is the home of The Great American Race – the DAYTONA 500. Though the season-opening NASCAR Cup Series event garners most of the attention – as well as the largest audience in motorsports – the approximately 500-acre motorsports complex, also known as the World Center of Racing, boasts the most diverse schedule of racing on the globe. Some of the exciting racing events include January’s Rolex 24 At DAYTONA and Roar Before The Rolex 24, February’s DAYTONA 500 and Speedweeks Presented by AdventHealth, March’s Bike Week At DAYTONA Presented By Monster Energy, featuring DAYTONA Supercross and the DAYTONA 200, the August Coke Zero Sugar 400 weekend, and much more. The Speedway grounds are also used extensively for other events that include concerts (Welcome to Rockville, Heroes Honor Festival, etc.), sporting events (DAYTONA Soccer Fest, CLASH DAYTONA, etc.) civic and social gatherings, car shows, photo shoots, production vehicle testing and police motorcycle training.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 14 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR sanctions races in three national series (NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series™), four international series (NASCAR Brasil Sprint Race, NASCAR Mexico Series, NASCAR Canada Series, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour) and a local grassroots series (NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series). The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in five cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races annually in 11 countries and more than 30 U.S. states.