Celebrity Host Committee Highlights Star-Studded 2017 Atlanta NASCAR Weekend
A star-studded lineup of celebrities with close Georgia ties will welcome fans visiting Atlanta Motor Speedway during next weekend's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR weekend.
Television stars, athletes, musicians and even some of the most iconic names in NASCAR will be on hand, as the historic track, hosting its record 102nd 500-mile race, becomes NASCAR's hub of activity at its annual Atlanta stop.
Leading off is former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Keith Brooking and current Falcon, defensive tackle Grady Jarrett. Brooking, a five-time Pro Bowl selectee and Georgia Tech alumnus, will serve as Sunday's honorary pace car driver as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series field takes the green flag in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. Brooking attended East Coweta High School in Sharpsburg, Georgia before playing four seasons at Tech, where he became the leading tackler in school history with 467.
The Falcons picked Brooking 12th overall in the 1998 NFL draft, and he helped the team win the 1998 NFC championship before appearing in its first title game in Super Bowl 33 on Jan. 31, 1999. He would go on to lead the team in tackles each year from 2001 to 2006. He also played three seasons for the Dallas Cowboys and one for the Denver Broncos.
Current Falcon Jarrett attended Rockdale County High School in nearby Conyers, Georgia, where he was a two-time all-state selection. He attended Clemson University from 2011 to 2014, where he played four seasons for the Tigers before the Falcons selected him in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. He appeared in all 16 regular season games and all three playoff games for the Falcons last season and recorded four tackles in Super Bowl 51 earlier this month, including three sacks of Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady.
Bolstering the host committee's local pro sports presence, former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker will also be on hand for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. Rocker, a Macon native who now calls Atlanta home, played parts of four seasons with the Braves from 1998 to 2001, compiling an 8-12 record and recording 83 saves. He helped the Braves win division titles in each of those seasons during its historic run of 14 in a row.
Performing the national anthem on the AMS frontstretch prior to Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, is Ed Roland and the Sweet Tea Project. Roland, an Atlanta resident, is the lead singer for rock band Collective Soul and started Sweet Tea Project with a group of friends in Atlanta in 2011. The band will release its second album, "Alder Lane Farm," later this year.
Taking on grand marshal duties for the weekend is acclaimed television personality and designer Ty Pennington. An Atlanta native and alumnus of The Art Institute of Atlanta, Pennington will return to his home state to visit with race fans, attend the pre-race drivers' meeting and give the command prior to Sunday's race.
Pennington first won national attention as the quirky carpenter on the groundbreaking home-improvement reality TV series "Trading Spaces." Later, as host of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," Pennington helped transform the lives of thousands while inspiring millions more around the world to volunteer their time to help others.
On the racing side of things, Dawsonville, Georgia native, NASCAR Hall of Famer, five-time Atlanta winner, 16-time Winston Cup Series most popular driver, two-time Daytona 500 winner and 1988 Winston Cup Series champion Bill Elliott will also welcome fans as an iconic member of the celebrity host committee.
Finally, completing host committee lineup, is 2016 Ms. Georgia American Beauties Plus, Quanisha Dawson. Originally from Hampton, Virginia, Dawson now lives in Atlanta, where she is closely involved as a full-time student, mom and community involvement leader.
For more information about the celebrity host committee and details about race-weekend appearances, visit the Atlanta Motor Speedway website at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.
NASCAR racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway March 3-5, 2017, kicking off with the Aspen Dental Get Started Qualifying Day on Friday, March 3, followed by the Rinnai 250 XFINITY Series and Active Pest Control 200 Camping World Truck Series doubleheader on Saturday, March 4. The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race rounds out the weekend on Sunday, March 5.
For more information or to purchase tickets today, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.