DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 24, 2023) – Florida Atlantic University men’s basketball head coach Dusty May will say some of the most famous words in motorsports ahead of the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 26.
Coach May will serve as the Grand Marshal for the final race of the NASCAR Cup Series regular season with DAYTONA Supercross Champion Ricky Carmichael acting as Honorary Pace Car Driver, the track announced today. US Swimming Olympian Bobby Finke will also share in the weekend festivities at The World Center of Racing, attending as an honorary guest on behalf of Coca-Cola.
“We have an incredible lineup of dignitaries to kick off the pre-race ceremonies and get our drivers, teams and fans ready for the regular season finale,” said Frank Kelleher, President of Daytona International Speedway. “Having the Supercross GOAT Ricky Carmichael back at Daytona, with Coach May and Bobby Finke also joining us at The World Center of Racing ahead of one of the biggest NASCAR races of the year, is sure to increase the excitement in an already electric atmosphere.”
The 2022-2023 FAU men’s basketball season was the greatest in the school’s history, with Coach May leading the Owls to a Final Four appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The FAU men’s basketball team has not had a losing season since May stepped into the position of head coach in 2018, with a record of 101-60, making him the Owl’s all-time leader in coaching wins and well deserving of his 2022-2023 CBS Sports Coach of the Year Award.
Joining Coach May in pre-race dignitary duties is five-time DAYTONA Supercross Champion and 15-time AMA Supercross Motocross Champion Ricky Carmichael. Carmichael is a familiar face at The World Center of Racing, winning the Supercross crown multiple times and designing the grueling DAYTONA Supercross course for 16 consecutive years. He will drive the Pace Car ahead of Saturday night’s race, leading the field to green before making an appearance in the NBC broadcast booth.
“Coming to Daytona is always an honor, but returning as the Honorary Pace Car Driver makes it even more special,” said Carmichael. “It’s thrilling to know these guys are revving up their engines behind me as they get ready to battle it out in the regular season finale. I can’t wait to watch what’s sure to be an incredible fight around the track.”
US Olympic Swimmer and two-time gold medalist Bobby Finke will be joining the pre-race celebrations as well, as an honorary guest of Coca-Cola. Finke won two gold medals in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in the men’s 1500m freestyle and the men’s 800m freestyle, setting a new American record with a time of 7:41.87. He was also a former NCAA Champion in multiple different events during his time at the University of Florida. Finke will join other Coca-Cola VIPs just before driver introductions for the Coke Zero Sugar 400.
The Coke Zero Sugar 400 NASCAR race weekend is from Aug 25-26, featuring the NASCAR Xfinity Series Wawa 250 Powered by Coca-Cola on Friday, Aug. 25, under the lights.
Then, on Saturday night, all the esteemed pre-race dignitaries and guests will make their way to pit road, directly following the pre-race concert featuring rising country star Niko Moon, in preparation of the “last chance” race of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series regular season. Drivers will fight for the final spots in the playoffs, in the highly anticipated Coke Zero Sugar 400.
Fans are encouraged to reserve their tickets and UNOH Fanzone passes for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 race weekend by logging onto daytonainternationalspeedway.
Featured Image: Dusty May, by Alex Dolce