Dallas Cowboys perennial All-Pro tight end Jason Witten will be honored by Texas Motor Speedway by receiving the opportunity to drive the official pace car to start Sunday'sDuck Commander 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
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 Duck Commander 500, 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, 31, has spent his entire 11-year career with the Cowboys, where he has earned All-Pro honors six times and has been voted to the Pro Bowl on nine occasions. He has recorded a franchise-record 879 receptions for 9,799 yards and 52 touchdowns in his illustrious career, which includes an NFL record 110 catches by a tight end in the 2012 season. He ranks second in NFL history for receptions by a tight end and third in receiving yardage as he prepares for the 2014 season with the Cowboys.
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.
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.