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Peyton Manning to drive pace car at Daytona 500

  • By Around The NFL staff
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Peyton Manning is racing toward an eventual checkered flag finish at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but his next pit stop on the road of life will involve driving the honorary pace car for Daytona 500 on Sunday.

The former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback will lead the 40-car field around the famed 3.5-mile tri-oval before the start of NASCAR's biggest race of the year, Daytona International Speedway announced Tuesday. Manning, for his part, is looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a Toyota Camry XSE.

"Serving as the Honorary Pace Car Driver will be a truly unique and exciting experience," Manning said in a statement. "I want to thank NASCAR, Daytona International Speedway and Nationwide for making this possible. I'm really looking forward to race day."

Manning retired after the 2015 season after helping the Broncos win in Super Bowl 50 -- his second Super Bowl title. The 18-year NFL veteran set career records for passing yards (71,940) and touchdowns (539) en route to winning five MVP honors.

"We're talking true star power with this announcement, as Peyton Manning is one of the legends of both college football and the NFL," said Chip Wile, Daytona International Speedway president. "He also has the persona and popularity to match his achievements. He'll be an awesome honorary pace car driver and a great addition to our lineup of high-profile guests for the 60th Daytona 500."