Red Zone

Chiefs’ Derrick Johnson will serve as honorary pace car driver for Kansas race

Chiefs All-Pro linebacker Derrick Johnson, a four-time Pro Bowler and 12-year NFL veteran, will serve as the honorary pace car driver May 13 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway.

Johnson, who is recovering from his second torn Achilles tendon in three seasons and expects to be ready for training camp, is the Chiefs’ all-time leading tackler with 1,080 tackles.

“I am really excited and honored to drive the pace car at Kansas Speedway’s Go Bowling 400,” Johnson said in a statement from Kansas Speedway. “This is my first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race and I can’t think of a better way to experience it, especially in a city that I love.”

Johnson, 34, has been a fixture in the Kansas City community since he was selected with the No. 15 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft.

“I’m excited to have Derrick be a part of the Go Bowling 400,” Kansas Speedway president Patrick Warren said in a statement. “I like having the opportunity to introduce athletes in other sports to Kansas Speedway and NASCAR, and Derrick is not only a great athlete but he is doing great things in our community.”

Johnson’s Defend the Dream Foundation, which is conducting its Celebrity Waiter Night fundraiser May 15 at Grand Street Café, works with low-income and inner-city youth throughout Kansas City.

Tickets are still available at or by calling 866-460-7223 for the Camping World Truck Series Toyota Tundra 250 on May 12 at 7:30 p.m. on FS1 and the Go Bowling 400, which airs at 6:30 p.m. on FS1.

Tod Palmer: 816-234-4389, @todpalmer