Former NFL Player to Wave the Green Flag During the NASCAR Ally 400 at the Nashville Superspeedway

Published 06/17/2021, 12:58 PM EDT
Jun 13, 2021; Fort Worth, TX, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (5) and driver Kyle Busch (18) drive side by side during the NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports


This weekend, the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Nashville for the first time. Since this is the first race, the authorities definitely want to make the Ally 400 a memorable one. So they have decided to recruit former NFL player, Bernard Pollard Jr to wave the green flag and start the race.

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Pollard Jr is not going to be the only celebrity there, as country music star Luke Combs will serve as the grand marshal. In other words, he will get a chance to utter the famous words “drivers, start your engines”. Other celebrities include Gospel singer CeCe Winans and social media sensation Priscilla Block. In fact, Block will have the honor of singing the national anthem.

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Coming back to Pollard, he is a fairly new NASCAR fan, having begun following the sport in 2020. His interest largely boiled down to the influence of African-American driver Bubba Wallace. Since then, he has competed in some iRacing virtual competitions. He also partnered with Ally to help run a paint scheme design contest featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr and Jeff Gordon.

What to expect from the NASCAR race in Nashville?

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From a racing perspective, one would expect Kyle Larson to be in the running for the win. This is because he has won the last three Cup Series races in 2021. However, the Nashville Superspeedway is new to the Cup Series calendar. Even though it has featured in the Xfinity Series before, this is the first Cup Series race there.

May 30, 2021; Concord, North Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (5) try to help keep him in the lead during a pit stop during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Aside from Larson, drivers to watch out for are, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick. This is because, those four drivers have picked up Xfinity wins in the past. So the four of them will also be in with a shout, though the Hendrick Motorsports quartet have been in fine form in recent races.

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Dhruv George

11755 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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