Sgt. Slaughter Named Honorary Official
WWE Hall of Famer to drive pace car Saturday, appear at pre-race Sunday
Sgt. Slaughter, World Wrestling Entertainment legend and the former United States Marine who earned his famous ring name during service to his country, has been named an Honorary Race Official for the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, November 15. The WWE Hall of Famer will attend the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 as part of a promotional partnership between Phoenix International Raceway and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) for WrestleMania XXVI, which will be held in Arizona in March 2010. One of the WWE's most beloved Superstars of the mid-1980s and current WWE Ambassador, Sgt. Slaughter will appear on the pre-race ceremonies stage with PIR President Bryan R. Sperber to welcome NASCAR fans, drivers, and teams to the Valley of the Sun for the Semi-Final Showdown in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. "I plan to take my duties as Honorary Race Official as serious as I did service to my country," said Sgt. Slaughter. "I can't wait to jump in the pace car. I pledge to do my best to make sure that everyone attending the weekend of events has a great time at the beautiful Phoenix International Raceway." In addition to his time on the pre-race stage, Slaughter will make multiple appearances for fans in Phoenix International Raceway hospitality clubs throughout the weekend, and will act as the honorary pace car driver before Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series Able Body Labor 200. With one of the most instantly recognizable monikers of any WWE Superstar in history, Sgt. Slaughter is truly one of a kind. A former U.S. Marine, he solidified that name by intimidating adversaries and fans alike in his trademark drill sergeant attire. Following his retirement from full-time competition, Sgt. Slaughter acted as WWE Commissioner, and today serves as a WWE Ambassador. Tickets to all events throughout the Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil weekend at Phoenix International Raceway are available at the newly-designed PhoenixRaceway.com or by calling 1-866-408-RACE (7223). The PIR Ticket Office is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 125 S. Avondale Blvd., just south of I-10 at Exit 131 in Avondale. WrestleMania XXVI is scheduled for Sunday, March 28, 2010 at nearby University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. Tickets for the global pop culture extravaganza go on sale November 7 at Ticketmaster.com.
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Two-time Olympian and current UFC star Dan Henderson will lead the field to the green flag behind the wheel of the Official Toyota Camry Pace Car at the start of the CampingWorld.com 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, March 15. Henderson’s appearance was the result of a partnership between PIR and Niner Sports & Entertainment. As the official pace car driver, the 44-year old mixed martial artist will take an honorary lap around the one-mile oval.
Phoenix International Raceway was honored twice in recent weeks by NASCAR for outstanding work in the areas of marketing and community outreach. Earlier this year, PIR's 50th Anniversary was named NASCAR's Marketing Campaign of the Year and the PIR Track Services team received NASCAR's Track Services Teamwork Award; and today, PIR Communications Manager Greg Fresquez received NASCAR's Industry Ambassador Award.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet, is scheduled to appear at Phoenix International Raceway’s Budweiser ROLL-BAR Club for a moderated question and answer session before the CampingWorld.com 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, March 15.
Phoenix International Raceway hosted up-and-coming driver Ruben Garcia Jr. from the NASCAR Mexico Series as he spoke to more than 2,000 high school students at La Joya Community High School in Avondale on Wednesday, Feb. 18. In addition to his racing background, Garcia talked with the students about the importance of education and pursuing their goals.
Fans coming to the CampingWorld.com 500 at Phoenix International Raceway will be in for a treat prior to the race. That morning, the popular Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum rock group Tonic will perform a pre-race concert in the fan midway area at 10:30 a.m. MST.