With Ford Championship Weekend commencing tomorrow, the list of pre-race dignitaries continues to grow. Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau will serve as the Honorary Starter for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 championship race on Sunday, November 17. As Honorary Starter, Huberdeau will wave the green flag at the start of the 267-lap race.
The Saint-Jerome, Quebec, native was selected by the Florida Panthers with the third overall pick of the 2011 NHL Draft. Huberdeau made his NHL debut for the Panthers during the 2012-13 season and became the first Panther in franchise history to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year. Currently in his eighth season with Florida, Huberdeau has nine goals and 15 assists this year, and ranks in the top-10 among forwards in both assists and points. Earlier this week, Huberdeau recorded his 249th career assist, tying Stephen Weiss for the franchise record.
“Having an elite athlete like Jonathan Huberdeau participate in NASCAR’s championship race is what Ford Championship Weekend is all about,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Al Garcia. “Having played in South Florida his whole career, Huberdeau has become a part of our community and we are honored to have him involved in one of the region’s biggest events.”