NFL great Tomlinson named honorary starter for Daytona 500

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) NFL great LaDainian Tomlinson, who could be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame later this week, has been named honorary starter for the upcoming Daytona 500.

Tomlinson will waive the green flag to start ''The Great American Race'' at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 26.

Tomlinson, a former All-Pro running back with the San Diego Chargers, is one of 18 finalists for the 2017 Hall of Fame class. The class will be announced Saturday, the day before the Super Bowl.

Having retired from the NFL in 2012, Tomlinson is now an analyst for the NFL Network. He also will make his feature-film acting debut in ''God Bless The Broken Road'' later this year.

Other Daytona 500 pre-race celebrities include Owen Wilson (grand marshal), Jordin Sparks (national anthem) and Lady Antebellum (pre-race concert).


More AP auto racing:

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.