Dale Earnhardt Jr. is in his second year as a NASCAR analyst for NBC and NBC Sports Network. 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be the honorary starter for the 2020 Daytona 500, making him part of the pre-race ceremonies for the third consecutive year.

Earnhardt made the announcement on his podcast Monday, one day after the NASCAR Cup Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Daytona International Speedway confirmed the news. Earnhardt, a two-time Daytona 500 champion (2004, 2014) who retired at the end of the 2017 season, served as grand marshal in 2018 and drove the pace truck in February.

Track president Chip Wile joked “the only thing left for Dale now is for him to sing the national anthem prior to the Daytona 500.” He said any role played by the highly popular Earnhardt on NASCAR’s opening weekend is significant.

Earnhardt says he has no plans to sing at Daytona “no matter how hard they ask.” He adds that waving the green flag as the honorary starter “is a special moment in not only NASCAR but all of sports.”

Recent Daytona 500 honorary starters include retired NFL star LaDainian Tomlinson, retired baseball star Ken Griffey Jr. and actors Charlize Theron and Gary Sinise.


Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily newsletter.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.