The Stage is Set for Talladega Superspeedway’s Doubleheader NASCAR Playoff Weekend, Oct. 12-14! Pre-Race Dignitaries Announced

Things have kicked into high gear at Talladega Superspeedway with the track’s pivotal doubleheader NASCAR Playoff weekend just days away. The lineup of pre-race dignitaries has been finalized for the 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event and the Fr8Auctions 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. They include: 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Sunday, Oct. 14

Grand Marshal: Giving those famous words in motorsports – “Drivers, Start Your Engines” – will be Kim Pedersen, CEO and founder of An award-winning lighting business, has more than 250 employees and offers everything from simple household light bulbs to cutting-edge specialty lighting. Pedersen launched in 1996, and the massive online presence continues to change the way the world buys lighting. He was recognized in June 2010 as Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Region.

Honorary Starter and Invocation: Dr. Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of the 13,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, will wave the green flag to kick off the highly-anticipated “wildcard” Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event. Dr. Jeffress will also provide the invocation during pre-race ceremonies. He is a Fox News Contributor, author of over 24 books and hosts a daily nationwide radio program, Pathway to Victory. Dr. Jeffress has made more than 2,000 guest appearances on radio and television programs and regularly appears on various media outlets.

Fr8Auctions 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Saturday, Oct. 13

Grand Marshal: Marcus Barela, founder and owner of Fr8Auctions, will give the command to fire engines prior to the start of the Truck Series Playoff event. At the conclusion of the race, only six out of eight championship-eligible drivers will move on to the Round of 6.

National Anthem Performers

Sunday’s 500: The 313th United States Army Band from Birmingham, AL is scheduled to once again perform their instrumental version of the song of our country before the start of the 500. The band has been a staple at the track since 2014 and is made up of citizen-soldiers who train and perform as a group of Army musicians. In addition, the iconic Johnny Ray Semi Truck Drive By will take place during the Anthem as well as a military flyover (four F-18 jets) by The (VFA-213) World Famous Fighting BLACKLIONS of the United States Navy.

Saturday’s Fr8Auctions 250: Woodstock, AL native Tayllor Hanson, a 22-year-old graduate from Highlands College and Point University in Birmingham, will perform the National Anthem prior to the Fr8Auctions 250 on Saturday. Hanson is a voice and piano teacher as well as a preschool director in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. She has also recorded three albums and is currently working on another.

Talladega Superspeedway’s playoff weekend kicks off on Friday, Oct. 12, with qualifying for the Fr8Auctions 250 at 4:35 p.m. CDT. Saturday’s slate includes the running of the Fr8Auctions 250 at noon CDT followed by Foodland/Food Giant Qualifying for the 500 at 3:35 p.m. CDT. Sunday will showcase some of the world’s best drivers dueling it out in the 500 at 1 p.m. CDT. In addition, Sunday ticket holders can enjoy access to the Saturday Night Infield Concert presented by Wind Creek Casino and Hotel, located in the famous infield, featuring country music artist Chris Janson.

For ticket information, fans can visit or call 855-518-RACE (7223).