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Ray Lewis named honorary starter for Daytona 500

February 23, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com

Ray Lewis named honorary starter for Daytona 500
Ravens linebacker is Super Bowl champion, Florida native

Fresh off a victory in Super Bowl XLVII, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will return to his home state Sunday to be the honorary starter for the 55th annual Daytona 500.

Lewis will wave the green flag as Danica Patrick leads the 43-car field into Turn 1. The race is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.

"It doesn’t get any bigger than Ray Lewis -- the leader of the Super Bowl-winning team," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "We can’t wait to see him on the flag stand waving the green flag to start the ‘Great American Race’ and the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season."

Past honorary starters include such NASCAR dignitaries as Bobby Allison and Richard Petty, as well as celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher, Whoopi Goldberg and John Cena.

Lewis is from central Florida and attended college at the University of Miami. The 13-time Pro Bowler announced earlier this year his intent to retire.

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