Michelle Obama might not be the first thing your average NASCAR fan expects to see at the final race in the “Chase for the Sprint Cup,” but Sunday the first lady will be the grand marshal for the Ford 400, uttering the famous starting words: “Gentlemen, start your engines.”
As part of the pair’s Joining Forces initiative for military families, Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will join NASCAR to honor America’s troops and their families at the race this coming weekend.
According to the White House, “5,000 active duty and retired military personnel and families and thousands of NASCAR fans” will be in attendance.
Prior to the race, NASCAR, Biden and Obama — a vocal stickler for healthy eating — will host a special BBQ for service members and their families.
The executive wives will also select a military family to join them in the pre-race ceremony.
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As part of the Joining Forces initiative, NASCAR and Walmart recently partnered to create a public service announcement about military sacrifice featuring the first lady alongside NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne and Parker Kligerman. The announcements are being broadcast at Walmart stores and will also air at Homestead-Miami Speedway.