Peyton Manning to Lead Field to Green Flag at Daytona 500
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Peyton Manning is leading one more drive on a big stage.
The two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback will serve as honorary pace car driver for the 60th running of the Daytona 500. Manning will be behind the wheel of the Toyota pace car and lead the 40-car field to the green flag to start "The Great American Race" on Sunday.
Manning joins a list of Daytona 500 celebrities that includes Academy Award winner Charlize Theron (honorary starter), retired NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. (grand marshal), country-music group Rascal Flatts (infield concert) and Navy Band Southeast (national anthem).
Other notable honorary pace car drivers for the Daytona 500 in recent years: Jay Leno (2006), Cal Ripken Jr. (2007), Tom Cruise (2009), Brad Paisley (2011) and John Cena (2016).
Manning retired from the NFL following the 2015 season, which he capped by leading the Denver Broncos to a Super Bowl victory over the Carolina Panthers. Manning also led the Indianapolis Colts to the 2006 championship during his 18-year career.