Over the last several years, we’ve been seeing more and more Christian McCaffrey in the NFL, but now he’s taking center stage at the Coca-Cola 600. The Charlotte, North Carolina native was chosen to pace the field for Sunday’s race, which will be the first time he’s been a part of the event since his senior season at Stanford University.

The Coca-Cola 600 is the second leg of the Sprint Cup Series season, and it is the first race of the playoffs. This race is known for its iconic Coca-Cola 600 car, which has been a part of the race since 1971. However, it hasn’t had a driver since 1981, and it was about to go empty.

NASCAR announced Wednesday that Christian McCaffrey , the rookie running back for the Carolina Panthers, will serve as the pace car driver for the Coca-Cola 600 on May 27. McCaffrey, who wore No. 5 in college, will join a roster of other notable figures who have served as pace car drivers in NASCAR’s premier racing series, including Justin Bieber , Brad Pitt , John Legend , and Mike Trout .. Read more about christian mccaffrey age and let us know what you think.

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Christian McCaffrey rushes during an NFL game.

The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway on Memorial Day Weekend for the Coca-Cola 600, a race honoring military members that gave their lives in the line of duty. A special guest from the NFL ranks, Carolina Panthers star Christian McCaffrey, will join the pre-race festivities as the official pace car driver.

Charlotte Motor Speedway broke the news on Sunday, May 23, as the Cup Series drivers raced at Circuit of the Americas. The officials confirmed that the star running back will get behind the wheel of the Toyota Camry TRD and lead the stacked field of competitors around the track prior to the green flag waving.

The Coca-Cola 600 will take place on Sunday, May 30, at 6 p.m. ET. Fox will broadcast the race with Jeff Gordon, Mike Joy, and Clint Bowyer in the booth to call the 600 Miles of Remembrance. Prior to the pace laps, former “Tonight Show” legends Jay Leno and Kevin Eubanks will tell the drivers to start their engines while serving as the grand marshals.

McCaffrey Has a Special Connection to a NASCAR Driver

The former Stanford star may be a big name in the NFL, but he also has a unique connection to NASCAR. McCaffrey is very close to Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon, to the point that they have matching tattoos. They are both members of the Wolf Pack and have the ink to prove this fact.

Get it going! IT’S PLAYOFF TIME BABY!!! It all begins September 6th in @TooToughToTame at 6pm EST! ♠️#AceNation #NASCARPlayoffs #[email protected]_22 @Panthers @NASCAR pic.twitter.com/peTsAQBYlh

— Austin Dillon (@austindillon3) August 31, 2020

Prior to the 2020 NASCAR playoffs, Dillon provided some further details about his friendship with McCaffrey. He explained to PopCulture that he had originally reached out to the running back prior to the 2017 NFL Draft and predicted that he would land with the Carolina Panthers. He continued to text McCaffrey and said that they needed to hang out after he arrived in town.

This in-person meeting did not take place until the All-Star Race, but the two drivers quickly became fast friends. They have spent a lot of time together in the years since, hanging out before races and football games. McCaffrey also joined Dillon for an episode of the “Barn Life” podcast.

Since becoming friends, Dillon has taken some cues from the NFL star. He has adjusted his nutrition and put an emphasis on his health. These changes have helped him deal with the grueling NASCAR schedule and the difficult task of corralling a high-powered stock car.

McCaffrey Will Now Lead Dillon to the Green Flag at a Packed Venue

NASCAR fans cheer during Coca-Cola 600.

When the former All-Pro gets behind the wheel of the Toyota Camry TRD, he will do so in front of a packed Charlotte Motor Speedway. Track officials announced in mid-May that there would be no capacity restrictions during the Memorial Day Weekend tripleheader. The move coincided with North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper lifting restrictions across the state.

“We are thrilled with today’s news that will allow fans to return to America’s Home for Racing without limitation,” said Greg Walter, executive vice president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, in a press release. “From the outset of the pandemic, whether operating a drive-through testing clinic or hosting the state’s first mass vaccination event, this has been the ultimate goal – to get back to filling the grandstands for the biggest, most entertaining events in motorsports.”

The fans will flock to Charlotte Motor Speedway to watch the top three NASCAR series during a special weekend. The Camping World Truck Series will kick off the weekend with a Friday night race, the Xfinity Series will headline Saturday, and the Cup Series will cap off a stacked weekend of racing.

READ NEXT: NASCAR Drivers Sound Off About Rain-Shortened COTA Race

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