Texans star J.J. Watt to serve as Daytona 500 grand marshal

Paul Menard (21) and Kyle Busch, top left, lead the field of cars to start the NASCAR Clash auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)
Martin Truex Jr. (19), Denny Hamlin (11), Kevin Harvick (4), Austin Dillon (3), Clint Bowyer (14), Erik Jones (20), Chase Elliott (9), Daniel Suarez (41), Ryan Newman (6), Alex Bowman (88) and Aric Almirola (10) are involved in a multi-car pileup during the NASCAR Clash auto race at Daytona International Speedway Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Houston Texans star J.J. Watt will serve as the grand marshal for the Daytona 500, making him the first NFL player to give the command for drivers to starts their engines before NASCAR's most famous race.

Daytona International Speedway made the announcement Monday, six days before the 61st running of "The Great American Race."

Watt is a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and well known for his charity work with the Justin J. Watt Foundation, which provides after-school opportunities for children. Following Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Watt set a goal to raise $200,000 for recovery efforts in Houston. He ended up raising more than $41 million, helping earn him the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.

Country music singer Jake Owen will perform an infield concert before the race. Retired NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. will serve as the honorary pace truck driver. The 82nd Airborne Division's All-American Chorus will sing the national anthem.

___

More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

People also read these

After storm halts tribute, A-Rod doubles in...

Aug 13, 2016

His pregame tribute ended by a storm, Alex Rodriguez began his final game with the New York Yankees...

'Suicide Squad' loses some luster in 2nd...

Aug 14, 2016

"Suicide Squad" isn't looking as bright in weekend two, dropping an estimated 67 percent

NBC audience soars with first full week of...

Aug 16, 2016

With blanket coverage of the Rio Games all last week, NBC had the ratings game all to itself in...

DeGeneres defends herself after posting photo...

Aug 17, 2016

Ellen DeGeneres says she's not racist after receiving backlash on social media for posting an...

AP Exclusive: Taylor Swift donating $1 million to...

Aug 17, 2016

Taylor Swift is donating $1 million to Louisiana after torrential rains caused massive flooding and...

About Us

The World Insiders brings you exclusive coverage from across the globe in a timely, easy to consume format sourced directly from our regional media partners.

Contact us: sales[at]theworldinsiders.com

Subscribe Now!