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Wambach, Rampone, O’Hara get Daytona 500 nod

U.S. women’s national team players Kelley O’Hara, Christie Rampone and Abby Wambach have been named honorary starters of the 57th annual Daytona 500, NASCAR’s most famous race.

The 200-lap, 500-mile race kicks off the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

“We’re honored to welcome three members of the U.S. Women’s National Team as Honorary Starters for the DAYTONA 500,” Daytona International Speedway president Joie Chitwood III said. “We’re looking forward to have these phenomenal athletes wave the green flag on both ‘The Great American Race’ as well as the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.”

Past Daytona 500 honorary starters include actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise, NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison and Richard Petty, NFL legend Ray Lewis and comedian Whoopi Goldberg.

Wambach has experience as an honorary race starter. In June 2013, she and then Western New York Flash teammate Carli Lloyd were grand marshals and honorary starters in Watkins Glen, N.Y., for the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.


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