Tomlinson Named Daytona 500 Honorary Starter
February 1, 2017 | 6:40 P.M. EST
NFL great LaDainian Tomlinson has been named the Honorary Starter for the 59th DAYTONA 500. (Photo: Getty Images)
NFL great LaDainian Tomlinson has been named the Honorary Starter for the 59th DAYTONA 500, the opening race of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season on Feb. 26 at Daytona International Speedway.
Tomlinson, a former All-Pro running back with the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets, is one of 18 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2017 class. The 2017 class of inductees will be announced on Feb. 4, the day before the Super Bowl.
Having retired from the NFL in 2012, Tomlinson is now an analyst for the NFL Network and an Ambassador for DAV (Disabled American Veterans). He will soon make his feature-film acting debut in the movie “God Bless The Broken Road." Multi-platinum recording artist Jordin Sparks also stars in the film and will be singing the National Anthem at this year’s DAYTONA 500. "God Bless The Broken Road" will be appearing in theaters later this year.
“LaDainian Tomlinson will continue our tradition of popular, high-profile celebrities serving as our DAYTONA 500 Honorary Starter,” said Speedway President Chip Wile. “His NFL career is legendary and he has always been the consummate professional, on and off the field. We are proud to add him to our illustrious list of Honorary Starters.”
Recent DAYTONA 500 Honorary Starters include NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees Bobby Allison and Richard Petty, actor Gary Sinise and Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Ken Griffey Jr.
Daytona International Speedway will open for NASCAR teams on Friday, Feb. 17, with the season-opening Daytona 500 scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 26. Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" will have live coverage of "The Great American Race" beginning at 1 p.m. (ET), with live streaming at MRN.com and on the MRN App.