Pre-Race Dignitaries Announced
Talladega Superspeedway announced its lineup of pre-race dignitaries for all three events during its Spring triple-header weekend.


With the classic spring race weekend just days away, Talladega Superspeedway announced its lineup of pre-race dignitaries for all three events during the triple-header weekend. Seven honorary officials will take part in the pre-race festivities prior to the GEICO 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Sparks Energy 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series, and General Tire 200 ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards. They include:


  • Grand Marshal: Serving as the Grand Marshal and giving the command to fire the engines prior to the GEICO 500 will be Frank Pickering, Assistant Vice President of Southeast Claims for GEICO. A 19-year GEICO employee, he currently works in the Macon, Georgia Regional Office. Before relocating to Georgia, he was the Assistant Director of Auto Damage Claims in the Fredericksburg, Virginia Regional Office.
  • Honorary Starter: Airman First Class Kellyn S. Connally, a Pharmacy Technician assigned to the 42d Medical Support Squadron at Maxwell Air Force Base (AL), will serve as the Honorary Starter, waving the green flag at the start of the action-packed 500-mile race. Airman Connally handles over 330,000 prescription requests, while consulting with 32 pharmacies. She educates nearly 40,000 individuals yearly on medication usage and manages 21 volunteers for the Medical Group’s Red Cross Volunteer Program.
  • Honorary Pace Car Driver: Alabama native Clayne Crawford, who portrays Detective Martin Riggs on the FOX hit show “LETHAL WEAPON," will pace the field prior to the GEICO 500 green flag. The actor, who has had a successful career with both television and film roles, hails from Clay, AL, fewer than 50 miles away from NASCAR’s biggest and baddest race track on the planet. Crawford also starred on the acclaimed cable series “Rectify," along with other popular series and films. Crawford continues to reside in Alabama with his wife and three kids, along with a host of horses, cattle and chickens. The family is actively engaged in the Seed to Plate movement, building school gardens and teaching children about the foods they eat.

Sparks Energy 300

  • Grand Marshal: Saturday afternoon Wayne Sternbergh, a great friend to Sparks Energy, will serve as the Grand Marshal, giving the command for NASCAR XFINITY drivers to start their engines. A native of Heyworth, Illinois, he has raced sprint and midget cars competitively for over twenty years and is an avid NASCAR fan.
  • Honorary Starter: Serving as the Honorary Starter will be Bill Torrance, Senior Vice President of Medline Industries in Northfield, Illinois. Torrance has been with Medline, the largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of medical supplies, since 1990. Currently, he is responsible for the company’s corporate sales and national account efforts within the life science business sector, which focuses on transplant and blood organizations.

General Tire 200

  • Grand Marshal: Alex Hood, Service Manager at the General Tire Edwards Chevrolet in Birmingham, Al, will kick off the whole race weekend by serving as the Grand Marshal for the General Tire 200 event by giving the most famous words in motorsports “Drivers, Start Your Engines.”
  • Honorary Starter: Keith Daniel, Quick Lane Manager at Long-Lewis Ford in Hoover, Al, will waive the first green flag of the weekend as the Honorary Starter of the event, that has been competing at Talladega since 1969.
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