New England Patriots wide receiver and Super Bowl LIII MVP Julian Edelman has been named the honorary starter for the 61st annual Daytona 500 on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway.
Edelman will wave the green flag for “The Great American Race,” the season-opening event for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Edelman, a three-time Super Bowl champion, is fresh off of an MVP performance with the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII, where he had a total of 10 catches for 141 yards.
The Redwood City, California, native and college football quarterback set the record for most Super Bowl first-half receptions with seven and Super Bowl punt returns with eight. Edelman finished the recent NFL postseason with a total of 26 receptions for 388 yards, placing him second behind only Jerry Rice in all-time playoff receptions and receiving yards.
“Julian Edelman is an incredible addition to the list of pre-race dignitaries for the Daytona 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile said. “We’re honored to have such a superb athlete, who recently won on NFL’s biggest stage and was the Super Bowl MVP, wave the green flag for NASCAR’s premier event.”
Recent Daytona 500 honorary starters include Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee LaDainian Tomlinson; actor Gary Sinise; actress Charlize Theron; and Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Ken Griffey Jr.