Dallas Stars center Mike Modano
will drive a pace car before Sunday's Samsung Mobile 500 NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway. Speedway President Eddie Gossage reached out to Modano earlier this week to see if he was interested. The track wanted to honor the Stars’ all-time scoring leader and he will drive the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro pace car, leading the 43-car Sprint Cup field to the green flag. Brett Bodine, a former Sprint Cup driver, will handle the mandatory on-track orientation with Modano before the race.
Modano is just the second celebrity to actually drive a pace car at TMS. The first was actor Vince Vaughn, who drove it at the Dickies 500 in 2007.
“We thought this was a fitting way to honor Mike,” Gossage said. “I truly believe that Mike is actually bigger than the Dallas Stars franchise itself as he is the face of hockey in Texas. This will be by far the biggest crowd he has ever been in front of and I’m looking forward to seeing their show of appreciation for our local hockey icon who also happens to be the best American-born player to ever skate in the NHL.”
Modano is excited about the opportunity.
"I think it's going to be a lot of fun," Modano said. "I got a call from Eddie the other day and it is a great honor. I have to go out there early Sunday to do a test run and see if I can get around a couple of times. I’m looking forward to it."
Modano participated one time in a Legends race at TMS in the 1990s and has attended several IndyCar Series races at the track. He has also attended the Indy 500.
"I've never been to a NASCAR race so this will be fun," Modano said. "I like watching the Indy races there, so I'm sure NASCAR will be great."