NASCAR Names Grand Marshal for Kansas Playoff Race

Eric Stonestreet

Getty Eric Stonestreet will return to NASCAR for the Kansas Speedway race.

The NASCAR playoffs continue on Sunday, October 24, with the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. A special guest will set the stage for the race as “Modern Family” star Eric Stonestreet serves as the grand marshal. He will utter the most famous words in motorsports and tell the drivers to start their engines.

Track officials issued a press release on Thursday, October 21, confirming that the Two-time Emmy winner will be on hand to set the stage for the pivotal playoff race. Stonestreet is a Kansas native and a diehard sports fan who spent time at multiple races during his run on “Modern Family.” Now he will return while promoting the upcoming FOX series, “Domino Masters.”

“We’re excited to welcome Eric home again,” said Kansas Speedway President Pat Warren in a press release. “He’s an incredible actor who has never lost touch with his Kansas City roots, and we cherish his longtime friendship with Kansas Speedway.”

Stonestreet Has Previously Participated in NASCAR Pre-Race Ceremonies

When Stonestreet grabs the microphone and serves as grand marshal, it will only serve as the latest example of him participating in pre-race ceremonies. Has also done so at both Auto Club Speedway in California and Daytona International Speedway. Though only one was in an official capacity.

Both examples took place during the 2015 season. Stonestreet and Vince Vaughn attended the Daytona 500 and watched as Joey Logano won the Crown Jewel race. Prior to the highly-anticipated event, Stonestreet took a ride in the pace car as a special guest while Vaughn prepared to serve as grand marshal.

One month later, Stonestreet headed to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. He served as the official pace car driver and led the field around the track in the Toyota Camry before Brad Keselowski won his first race of the season.

Prior to the trip to Fontana, Stonestreet took part in some practice sessions so he could drive the pace car properly. He hopped into a vehicle with Kevin Harvick and showed some brief examples of the lessons on his Instagram account. The two men then took in a hockey game between the Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings.

Stonestreet Is the Latest Big Name To Serve As Grand Marshal at Kansas

Kansas Speedway has turned to multiple high-profile figures to serve as the grand marshal in recent seasons. Stonestreet is only the latest example. The track officials also brought in Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones in July 2020 and Lieutenant General James E. Rainey, Commanding General, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, in October 2020.

Back in 2019, actor Jensen Ackles set the stage for the Hollywood Casino 400 playoff race that brought the Round of 12 to an end. He served as grand marshal on October 20, 2019, while finishing out a historic run on the CW series “Supernatural.” The show starring Ackles and Jared Padalecki first aired in 2005 and ended in 2020 after 15 seasons and 327 episodes.

Unlike the 2019 season, Stonestreet will not set the stage for an elimination race. Instead, the Hollywood Casino 400 will be another opportunity for a playoff driver to secure a spot in the championship four. Kyle Larson achieved this goal at Texas Motor Speedway on October 17, and he will spend the next two weeks waiting to see which three drivers will join him in the battle for the championship trophy.

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