Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Auto Club Speedway announced Los Angeles Dodgers free agent Albert Pujols will serve as the Toyota Camry TRD pace car driver in the WISE Power 400 on Sunday for the return of the NASCAR Cup Series racing to the two-mile oval.
“This is a special once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I couldn’t be more excited to lead the best drivers in the world out onto the track,” Pujols said in a statement. “I’m really looking forward to seeing these guys get after it once the green flag drops. The adrenaline will be pumping for sure.”
The 2022 WISE Power 400 concludes two days of NASCAR racing on the two-mile oval of the Auto Club Speedway. Racing begins Saturday, Feb. 26, with the Production Alliance Group 300, the second race of the NASCAR Xfinity Series season.
Then on Sunday, the WISE Power 400 will continue with Auto Club Speedway’s first NASCAR Cup Series race since Alex Bowman won in 2020.
“Few have played the game of baseball with the power and poise of Albert Pujols,” Auto Club Speedway president Dave Allen said. “It’s only fitting that a player who has worn the numbers 5 and 55 will lead the five-wide salute to NASCAR fans before the WISE Power 400.”
Previously, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served as one of the grand marshals for the 2022 Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
In addition to Roberts, the full list of grand marshals for the Busch Light Clash included Eric Dickerson, Jim Abbott, Misty May-Treanor, Greg Townsend, Jeff Gordon, Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart.
The group was individually introduced at the Peristyle end of the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, with Roberts among those to receive the loudest ovation.
The grand marshals then announced the customary, “Gentlemen, start your engines,” to kick of the Busch Light Clash. The race represented the first-ever NASCAR event at the Coliseum.
Is Albert Pujols going to retire?
After finishing the 2021 season with the Dodgers and becoming a free agent, indications are Pujols will continue playing. Pujols has yet to make any formal announcement with respect to retirement rumors, but he did participate in the Dominican Winter League for the first time in his career.
Pujols recently reunited with a handful of former Dodgers teammates at the sixth annual Justin Turner Golf Classic.
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