Most NASCAR races begin with the dropping of the green flag.
The South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, on the other hand, will start in “Beast Mode.”
It was announced Wednesday that former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch will drive the pace car at Sunday’s NASCAR playoff opener.
“I hella appreciate the opportunity NASCAR is giving me to get active in this year’s pace car,” the five-time Pro Bowl selection said in a statement.
Lynch, who played 11 NFL seasons for the Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders, may not know the fast way around the 1.5-mile LVMS oval yet. But he knows his way around other parts of Las Vegas, having been named the Most Valuable Player of California’s 35-28 victory over Brigham Young in the 2005 Las Vegas Bowl.
He said he follows NASCAR and is excited about the prospect of getting behind the wheel of the 2020 Toyota Supra on Sunday — but not nearly as excited as NASCAR and LVMS officials will be when he disengages “Beast Mode” and returns the pace car to pit road without hitting anything.
“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Lynch said. “I’m looking forward to the experience and meeting the drivers and fans.”
LVMS’ South Point 400 weekend begins with the World of Westgate 200 Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at 6 p.m. Friday, with the Rhino Pro Truck Outfitters 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series event following at 4:30 p.m. Saturday and the South Point 400 Cup Series playoff opener at 4:15 p.m. Sunday.