Honorary Positions and Pre-Race Performers/Participants Announced for This Weekend’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 and Wawa 250 at Daytona International Speedway

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Drivers and Teams Prepare to Tackle the Iconic Venue, Including a “Last Shot” to Make the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Saturday Night in Coke Zero Sugar 400

The Honorary Officials and Pre-Race Performers/Participants for this weekend’s Wawa 250 Powered by Coca Cola and Coke Zero Sugar 400 were announced today, highlighted by the Grand Marshal of the Coke Zero Sugar 400, Florida Panthers forward Carter Verhaeghe.

 

The 27-year-old Verhaeghe, who has been with the Miami-based squad since fall of 2020, set a new Panthers record for points in a Stanley Cup Playoff game when he scored five in Game 5 of the 2022 Eastern Conference First Round, a 5-3 win against the Washington Capitals. He was also a member of the 2020 Tampa Bay Lightning Stanley Cup Champions.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: For Coke Zero Sugar 400 and Wawa 250 logos, along with B-Roll video from the 2021 Coke Zero Sugar 400 and 2022 DAYTONA 500 (featuring NASCAR’s ’Next Gen’ car), click here.

Below is a list of all participants in the Pre-Race Ceremonies for Friday’s (Aug. 26) Wawa 250 Powered by Coca Cola and Saturday’s (Aug. 27) Coke Zero Sugar 400:

 

Coke Zero Sugar 400 (Saturday, Aug. 27)

 

  • Grand Marshal: Carter Verhaeghe – Current forward for the Florida Panthers and 2020 Stanley Cup Champion with the Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Honorary Starter: Scott Massey – Senior Vice President, Corporate Partnerships for the Jacksonville Jaguars
  • National Anthem: Sarah Hohman – Executive Director, Care Communities and Market Strategy at Advent Health. In addition to the upcoming gig ahead of the Coke Zero Sugar 400, Sarah performed The Star Bangled Banner prior to DAYTONA 500 Qualifying in February.
  • Master of Ceremonies for Driver Introductions: Matt Graifer “The Young Professor” – Professional Sports Announcer. The Professor is one of the most recognizable voices in southeastern sports, performing in boxing rings, baseball diamonds, wrestling rings, octagons and more. He is currently the host for the Daytona Tortugas Minor League Baseball team.
  • Invocation: Sam Mercado – Advent Health Chaplain
  • Pledge of Allegiance: The Boy Scouts of America
  • God Bless America Performance: Singers from Seabreeze High School
  • Presentation of Colors: Mainland Air Force Junior ROTC Color Guard
  • Pre-Race Concert (pit road): Better than Ezra, multi-platinum, Billboard chart-topping rock group

 

Wawa 250 Powered by Coca Cola (Friday, Aug. 26)

  • Grand Marshal: Kevin McGrath – Regional Marketing Manager at Wawa
  • Honorary Starter: Jason Wiggins – Regional Sales Manager at Wawa
  • National Anthem: The St. John’s Center for The Arts Chorus at St. Augustine High School
  • Invocation: Sonny Gallman – Central Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, Fla.
  • Pledge of Allegiance: The Boy Scouts of America
  • God Bless America Performance: Singers from Seabreeze High School
  • Presentation of Colors: Dr. Phillips High School Air Force JROTC Color Guard

 

The action on the track begins Friday with qualifying for the Wawa 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at 3 p.m., with the race against the clock for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 following at 5:05 p.m. At 7:30 p.m. the Wawa 250 Powered by Coca Cola gets the green flag, as drivers from the NASCAR Xfinity Series challenge the 31-degree banking at the iconic speedway. Then, on Saturday at 7 p.m., it all comes down to the Coke Zero Sugar 400, the final race of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series regular season before heading into the playoffs. Eight former DAYTONA Champions, including defending Coke Zero Sugar 400 Champion Ryan Blaney (+1200), are currently winless in 2022 and need a victory to guarantee the final spot in the premier series Playoffs.

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