NASCAR’s Daytona 500 is one of the most iconic races in motorsports. While the storied race has a long history of celebrity Grand Marshals, very few have gotten the chance to drive the pace car to start off the race. Now, WWE’s very own John Cena has been given the honor in 2016.
The pace car, for those of you who don’t spend their weekends suspending disbelief to think that cars can only turn left 500 times in an afternoon, is the car that drives in front of the actual racers to keep the field at a controlled speed. So…y’know…literally a car that keeps others at pace. Other celebrity pace car drivers who have led the field to the starting flag include Tom Cruise, Jay Leno, and Cal Ripken.
Here’s the press release to tell you a little more:
WWE Superstar John Cena Named Honorary Pace Car Driver for the 58th Annual DAYTONA 500
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 11, 2016) – WWE Superstar and actor John Cena will serve as the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the 58th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. at Daytona International Speedway. Cena will pace the 43-car field to the green flag in a Toyota Camry.
Cena, a 15-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, has been at the forefront of WWE’s programming for more than a decade, and most recently starred on the big screen in the Golden Globe-nominated “Trainwreck” as well as “Sisters” with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
“John Cena is one of the most iconic WWE Superstars in history, a great actor and philanthropist,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “We welcome him back to the ‘World Center of Racing’ and our new motorsports stadium, this time to pace the field for ‘The Great American Race.’ ”
Chitwood went on to say “Oh yeah, great actor. Did you see his dick in Trainwreck? They keep saying it’s a stunt penis, but I dunno man. He really made me believe.”
Cena participated in the 2012 Daytona 500 as an honourary starter, aka the person who waves the green flag at the beginning of the race. Way to move on up, John!