FORT WORTH– Jason Witten has always been considered one of the best leaders on Sunday afternoons.
But this week, Witten will be leading a different group, as he will drive the pace car for NASCAR's Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Witten, with the guidance of NASCAR pace car driver Brett Bodine, will be behind the wheel of the Chevrolet SS Official Pace Car that will lead the 43-car field to the green flag for the annual race, which begins at 2 p.m. CT (FOX).
"I'm honored to be asked to drive the pace car on Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway," Witten said. "I'll be in town to cheer on Denny Hamlin and the #11 FedEx team and raise awareness for their special March of Dimes paint scheme, and it will be a cool experience to get behind the wheel before the drop of the green flag."
Witten is only the fourth celebrity/sports figure - and first Dallas Cowboy - in the history of Texas Motor Speedway to be bestowed the honor. Movie star Vince Vaughn was the first to do so when he was tabbed as the pace car driver for the Dickies 500 in November of 2007. [embedded_ad]
Former Dallas Stars great Mike Modano was next at the 2010 Samsung Mobile 500, but his moment was washed away when the race was postponed until Monday due to rain and he was unavailable to return. Former Texas Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson, currently with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, followed up Modano that same year and drove the pace car for the AAA Texas 500 after helping the organization to its first World Series appearance. The most recent came last year when WWE Hall of Fame wrestler Shawn Michaels led the field for April's NRA 500.
NASCAR has granted Texas Motor Speedway special permission to allow Witten to drive the car pending a mandatory on-track orientation prior to the Duck Commander 500. Witten's orientation will take place on pit road at 9 a.m. CT Sunday and that session will be open to the media.
Tickets for the Duck Commander 500 NASCAR doubleheader weekend, which also includes Friday evening's O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 Nationwide Series race, are available by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com or by call the TMS ticket office at (817) 215-8500.