Daytona Beach, FL –Â The Houston Texans’ Defensive End will become the first NFL player to give the command to start the engines for the Great American Race.
With just under a week to go until the Daytona 500, Daytona Beach International Speedway announces that the star Houston Texans’ Defensive End, J.J. Watt, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 61st running of the 500.
JUST ANNOUNCED! @HoustonTexans Defensive End @JJWatt will be the Grand Marshal for the 2019 #DAYTONA500!
: https://t.co/MBppXrE1df pic.twitter.com/bCjlrEoUx6
— Daytona International Speedway (@DISupdates) February 11, 2019
“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as the Grand Marshal,” says Watt. “The Daytona 500 is truly an iconic event with a rich history and I am very much looking forward to taking in the action up close and personal this ear.”
Watt is a former University of Wisconsin player as well as a three-timeÂ NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He was also the first player in NFL history to record two 20-plus sack seasons in 2014. He also holds the Texans’ record for sacks and focused fumbles.
He was also highlighted at Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year in 2017.
Watt is also well-known for his charity work as the president and founder of the Justin J. Watt Foundation, a charity that provides after-school opportunities to children and has assisted those who are affected by deadly shootings.
Following Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Watt also raised more than $41 million for the city of Houston, which got him the prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.
â€œWeâ€™re ecstatic to have a person who has shown to be not only an incredible athlete, but also somebody who has done so much for communities in need,â€� said Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile. â€œJ.J. is one of the best players currently in the NFL and now heâ€™s going to be our Grand Marshal for â€˜The Great American Race.â€™ Itâ€™s a spectacular pairing.â€�
You can find ticketing information for the 500 on the Daytona International Speedway website, or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
WNDB will also be holding live, all-day Daytona 500 coverage starting at 8 a.m. this Sunday (February 17th) starting with pre-race coverage. You can listen live at FM 93.5, AM 1150 or by visiting WNDB’s online feed.
Source:: News Daytona Beach