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Edsel Ford II to drive honorary pace car -- a Ford, of course -- at Martinsville

NASCAR Media Tour

CONCORD, NC - JANUARY 27: Edsel Ford II speaks to the media during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at the Roush-Fenway hanger of Concord Regional Airport, on January 27, 2011 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Getty Images for NASCAR

While there’s no guarantee a Ford will win Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway, a Ford will definitely start it.

Track officials announced Monday that Edsel Ford II, great-grandson of Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford, will bring the field to the starting green flag as honorary pace car driver, behind the wheel of a Ford Shelby 350GT.

“I was talking with (Ford) in Daytona and he mentioned to me that he had never been to Martinsville, so I figured what better way to welcome him than to invite him to be our honorary pace car driver,” Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell said in a release.

Ford currently serves as a member of the auto manufacturer’s board of directors.

“I’ve known Clay for a couple of years now and the opportunity to come to Martinsville, drive the pace car and potentially greet a Ford in victory lane would be a very special Sunday for me personally,” Ford said in a release.

This will be a milestone weekend for the .526-mile paper-clip shaped racetrack, the oldest active facility on the NASCAR Cup circuit. It will mark the 70th anniversary of the Speedway, which opened in 1947. The track recently installed lights, which will be used in this fall’s race weekend there.

The Camping World Truck Series will race on Saturday with the Alpha Energy Solutions 250, followed on Sunday by the weekend’s main event.

Kyle Busch is the defending winner of both the Cup and Truck spring races last season – the first driver in Martinsville’s history to win both series’ races on the same weekend.

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