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Toronto Blue Jays Legend Set to Lead the Grid at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Published 02/26/2024, 1:36 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

We are still recovering from the heart-stopping race at Atlanta, but the season marches onward. The next race on the Cup Series calendar is the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 3rd. Of course, NASCAR is well-known for attracting celebrities to make an appearance for the races. For the upcoming weekend, the Toronto Blue Jays legend Jose Bautista is expected to make an appearance.

As per reports, his role in the festivities is to be the pace car driver. In essence, Bautista will have the honor of leading the entire field before the race begins. The 43-year-old is expected to be included in the MLB Hall of Fame ballot for the year 2024, and this NASCAR gig will be an exciting time for him.

Who is ex Blue Jays legend Jose Bautista?

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Bautista is best-known for being a right fielder and a third baseman in Major League Baseball. In his 15-year career, he has amassed 344 home runs and 975 runs batted in. The Dominican-born player even made it to the All-Star team on six occasions and a 3-time Silver Slugger Awardee. Other accolades include 2 Hank Aaron Awards, 2 MLB home run leaders, and the icing on the cake was the Toronto Blue Jays Level of Excellence.

READ MORE: 2024 Ambetter 400: Daniel Suarez Locks in Career Second Playoff Spot at Atlanta as Kyle Busch Goes Winless Again

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Safe to say, this man is a legend, as far as the Toronto Blue Jays are concerned. Aside from the Blue Jays, Bautista has played for the Baltimore Orioles, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Kansas City Royals. He also competed for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Atlanta Braves, the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Las Vegas Motor Speedway has its work cut out for it next weekend

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Let’s not sugarcoat it at all, the Cup race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway was an absolute banger. When the race began, the field did not last two laps without getting into a massive wreck. Naturally, this would have given a number of fans post traumatic stress disorder flashbacks to the usual Truck Series wreck fests. Fortunately for the fans’ sanity, aside from a handful of incidents, the drivers were relatively well-behaved.

Then with five laps to go, the excitement ramped up to 11, as Kyle Busch, Daniel Suarez and Ryan Blaney duelled for the win. In the end, Suarez just about squeaked ahead of Blaney, while Busch was barely in third place. Without a doubt, so many fans would have been sitting on the edge of their seats and praying for no wreck. Given this exciting finish, there will be pressure on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to deliver an exciting race as well.

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Written by:

Dhruv George

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Dhruv George is a Senior NASCAR Author at EssentiallySports, with an impressive record of over 14K articles. From F1 driver Pierre Gasly to Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino, Dhruv has interviewed several racers, establishing himself as an authoritative voice in the world of motorsports. He not only writes engaging content but helps connect readers with some of the biggest racing names thanks to his ability to churn out exclusive interviews.
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Edited by:

Rohan Karnad