“Rip Big Dog”: Dwayne Johnson Mourns the Death of His Friend While Reflecting on Daytona 500 Appearance

Published 02/23/2024, 1:00 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson took social media by storm with a glimpse into his electrifying experience at the Daytona 500. From high-octane racing to heartfelt tributes, the post unveiled an unforgettable day for the People’s Champ. But amidst the “chaos” and “ENERGY,” Johnson also remembered a legend lost, offering a poignant nod to the late country star, Toby Keith. Join us as we delve into Johnson’s Daytona adventure, where entertainment, racing, and respect for a fallen icon intertwined.

Dwayne Johnson pays tribute to country legend Toby Keith

WWE Legend Dwayne Johnson took to Instagram on February 23to post a few pictures from his time at Daytona 500. The pictures were uploaded with the caption, “Unforgettable day of racing, chaos, love & ENERGY!! Love y’all back and thank you so much for everything ✊🏾🖤 ~ people’s champ #daytona500 #grandmarshal (Rest in peace Big Dog 🕊️)


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A post shared by Dwayne Johnson (@therock)

Johnson’s post was in memory of the deceased Toby Keith who sadly passed away at the age of 62 on February of 5 after battling stomach cancer. The singer is succeeded by his three children and wife Tricia Lucus.


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Toby Keith, known as Big Dog Daddy, was a popular country music singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, and businessman. He achieved significant success in his singing career and was a fan-favorite as an entertainer. The singer was also known for his sense of humor that led to his nick name, Big Dog, a name Dwayne Johnson referred to him as. Keith’s love for entertainment also led him to the world of wrestling where he even shared the ring with wrestling legend Jeff Jarrett. He also appeared on an episode of RAW in 2010.

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In the same post, Dwayne Johnson also reflected on the Daytona 500 event where he was invited as a grand marshal.

Dwayne Johnson promotes WrestleMania XL and UFL at Daytona 500

The Hollywood actor turned entrepreneur was recently invited to the NASCAR’s 500-miles event. Despite being on a busy schedule, Johnson managed time for the event and made good use of the time. During his presence, he promoted WrestleMania XL at a press-conference and UFL, through his jacket. In one of his recent posts on IG, Dwayne Johnson also revealed that his favorite hooters sports bar was near Daytona International Speedway.


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Which is your favorite Toby Keith song?

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Written by:

Himangshu Sinha


One take at a time

Himangshu Sinha is a WWE reporter at EssentiallySports who is a beast at keeping up with the latest in the wrestling world. He enjoys covering the lives of wrestlers, often poring over interviews, podcasts, and overlooked details to back his writing. While he maintains a respect for Gunther, LA Knight, and The Tribal Chief, in his mind, no one can beat one of AEW’s Best Friends, Orange Cassidy.
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Edited by:

Anuj Jacob