The NASCAR Cup Series will head to Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 30, for the annual Coca-Cola 600. Two legends from “The Tonight Show” will be on hand to fulfill an important role. Former host Jay Leno and former musical director Kevin Eubanks will serve as grand marshals for the 62nd running of the Coca-Cola 600.
Leno and Eubanks spent 15 years together on “The Tonight Show” before Leno walked away from the nightly show. They are now reuniting on Fox for a new network comedy program, “You Bet Your Life.” The project is a reimagining of the classic comedy quiz show that starred Groucho Marx. The original version ran until 1961 but will now return with Leno and Eubanks as hosts.
The Xfinity Series race on Saturday, May 29, will also feature two grand marshals. Chris Foote, Managing Partner of Longhorn Steakhouse and Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine, host of Food Network’s “Dinner: Impossible,” will tell the drivers to start their engines.
Leno Has a Connection to NASCAR’s Top Drivers
As an avid car collector, Leno is an avid fan of unique and high-powered vehicles. He also has a connection to some of NASCAR’s best drivers due to his role as the host of “Jay Leno’s Garage.” The comedian has interviewed several prominent drivers, including Team Penske’s Joey Logano and “The King” Richard Petty.
Leno also interviewed another NASCAR driver for a segment that will air sometime in the future. Daniel Suarez, the driver of the No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet Camaro, posted a photo on Twitter in April of him and Leno posing together. He revealed that he would appear on the popular show to discuss Leno’s unique car collection.
Suarez previously appeared on “Jay Leno’s Garage” for a 2017 episode. He examined a variety of unique vehicles, including a classic fire engine. He also attempted to find the hidden gas cap on a car, which sat behind the tail light housing.
Of course, one of Leno’s most popular interviews took place on “The Tonight Show.” He sat down with a young Dale Earnhardt Jr. in October 2001. The interview took place after the future Hall of Fame inductee won the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Leno Once Led NASCAR Drivers Around an Iconic Track
Interviews are not the only connection that the longtime late-night host has to NASCAR’s top drivers. He also once led them around an iconic race track. Leno served as the honorary pace car driver for the 2006 Daytona 500 while controlling the 2006 Z06 Chevrolet Corvette.
Once Leno led the field around the superspeedway, the biggest names in NASCAR took part in the season-opening race. Jimmie Johnson led 24 laps of the race en route to his first win of the season. He held off Casey Mears, Ryan Newman, Elliot Sadler, and Tony Stewart to achieve this goal. Four other drivers, including Kurt Busch, ended the race early due to crashes.
15 years after he drove the pace car, Leno will head to another one of NASCAR’s iconic tracks. He and Eubanks will set the stage for the 600 Miles of Remembrance while shouting the most popular words in motorsports. They will tell the drivers to start their engines and then watch the action that unfolds at Charlotte Motor Speedway.