NASCAR & Auto Racing

Royals catcher Drew Butera will be honorary pace car driver at Kansas Speedway

Royals catcher Drew Butera with the pace car.
Royals catcher Drew Butera with the pace car.

The person who drives the honorary pace car at NASCAR events will be wearing a helmet, right?

The question arises because of who will be behind the wheel before Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

That’s Royals catcher Drew Butera, who in addition to his accomplishments on the baseball field, is known for his hair flip after reaching base.

Will there be a Butera hair flip after he’s fulfilled his duties as the honorary pace car driver? Well, the helmet shouldn’t stop him, because Butera can take it off.

The honorary pace car leads the competitors to the starting line, so the driver is on the track with the NASCAR drivers.

Other honorary pace car drivers at NASCAR races this year include: Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, WWE star and actor John Cena, actress Melissa Joan Hart, actor Jake Short.

Olsen, who was in Super Bowl 50, enjoyed his experience at the NASCAR All-Star race.

“I’ve been fortunate to be asked to do a handful of things and go to a lot of events, but to actually be out on the track, the closest thing I could say is if in our Pro Bowl they let Jimmie Johnson or Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. come out and run down the opening kickoff,” Olsen told The Sporting News.

“To actually be on the track during the live event, you’re not doing the coin toss, you’re actually on the track with these guys right as the event kicks off, it’s very special access, it’s a very unique setup, to do it here at the All-Star Race, here in your hometown, at night … is a really special thing.”

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff