NFL Stars Tua Tagovailoa, Jonathan Vilma Set to Be Honorary Officials in NASCAR Cup Race at Homestead-Miami

Published 02/27/2021, 12:00 AM EST
Feb 14, 2021; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series drivers Denny Hamlin (11), Kyle Busch (18), Martin Truex Jr. (19) and Bubba Wallace (23) during the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


As it turns out, the NFL and NASCAR series are growing closer and closer together. On the back of Alvin Kamara announcing a tie-up with Ryan Vargas, more and more NFL stars are being involved. Ahead of the Dixie Vodka 400 race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, news broke that two NFL players will take on important roles.

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Apparently, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is going to be the Grand Marshal. For the uninitiated, it means that he will get a chance to say the famous order for drivers to start their engines. Also joining him at the track will be former Super Bowl-winning linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who will wave the green flag to start the race at Homestead-Miami.

NASCAR is growing in prominence in the United States

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Since last year, there has been an influx in NASCAR interest from outside parties. NBA star Michael Jordan set the ball rolling back in 2020 when he became co-owner of the 23XI Racing team. Soon afterwards, rapper Pitbull followed in his footsteps when he became the owner of Team Trackhouse Racing.

Dec 26, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) throws a pass against the Las Vegas Raiders during the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

“Having Tua and Jonathan join us for this special weekend is a true honor, and we are thrilled to host them,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Al Garcia.

“Tua helped to return the Dolphins to their winning ways last year, and Jonathan was a key member of several successful University of Miami teams, continuing the school’s tradition of greatness.

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“We know that many NFL players have recently taken a vested interest in NASCAR, and we are happy that both will have the opportunity to see just how exciting our sport can be.”

Then in the Xfinity Series, Big Machine Label Group set up its own team. Finally, Alvin Kamara and his juice bar chain recently stepped up to sponsor Vargas and his team. Now, Tagovailoa and Vilma will be the latest athletes to get a glimpse into the NASCAR world.

And who knows? Maybe this one-time association with the sport will leave them lingering for more.

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Dhruv George

11392 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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