The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Sin City on Sunday for the Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube. Prior to the race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will utter the most iconic words in motorsports. He will tell the drivers to start their engines while serving as grand marshal.
Track officials announced the news on Tuesday and confirmed that Carr would provide the call before the race. He will join fellow quarterback Tua Tagovailoa as NFL players-turned-grand marshals during the 2021 season. Fellow NFL player Antonio Williams will announce engines for Friday's Truck Series race, while Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles will do so for Saturday's Xfinity Series race.
"This will be such a thrill to have the chance to bring the NASCAR Cup Series cars to life," Carr said. "I know there have been a long list of luminaries who have served in this role, and it’s pretty cool to join them. I’m sure it’s going to be exhilarating once those cars fire up."
When Carr utters the most famous words in NASCAR, he will do so in front of a smaller crowd. The track officials announced in mid-February that a limited number of fans could attend the race. However, they did not provide an exact number. These attendees will have to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines while wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.
"We’re excited that we’ll have race fans in attendance for all three days of our March 5-7 NASCAR Weekend," LVMS president Chris Powell said in February. "Given what our state and community have been through in the face of this terrible pandemic, we can only hope that this announcement represents some semblance of a return to normalcy."
A former second-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Carr has spent his entire career with the Silver and Black. He just finished his first season in Las Vegas after the team moved from Oakland and opened Allegiant Stadium. He threw for more than 4,000 yards with 27 touchdowns and only nine interceptions. These numbers helped him reach 26,896 yards and 170 touchdowns, the best in franchise history.
The Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube takes place at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Fox will provide coverage for all 267 laps with Mike Joy, Jeff Gordon, and Clint Bowyer in the booth. Regan Smith and Jamie Little will serve as pit reporters and provide important updates during the afternoon of racing.