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Former NFL running back LaDainian Tomlinson to be Daytona 500 honorary starter

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards - Show

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 02: Former NFL player LaDainian Tomlinson speaks during the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards show at Wynn Las Vegas on December 2, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

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NFL great LaDainian Tomlinson will be the honorary starter for the Feb. 26 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

Tomlinson, a running back for the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets, retired in 2012. He’s an analyst for the NFL Network and an Ambassador for Disabled American Veterans. Tomlinson also is among the 18 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The 2017 class will be announced Feb. 4.

He appeared at the Sprint Cup Awards in December in Las Vegas.
“LaDainian Tomlinson will continue our tradition of popular, high-profile celebrities serving as our Daytona 500 Honorary Starter,” said Speedway President Chip Wile in a statement. “His NFL career is legendary and he has always been the consummate professional, on and off the field. We are proud to add him to our illustrious list of Honorary Starters.”