Race Weekend Central

Here’s Who’s Performing & Appearing at COTA

An unprecedented and wildly entertaining race at Bristol Motor Speedway leads into the first NASCAR Cup Series road course race of the season at Circuit of the Americas.

COTA is a brief stoppage for NASCAR in the midst of a short track stretch of three events in four races. All three series will hit the 3.41-mile track, the first triple-header weekend since Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Despite being in just its fourth season on the NASCAR schedule, the Austin track provided plenty of highlights in its short stint. Combined with an electric atmosphere, it is sure to draw some stars out for the show.

Grand Marshal: Giancarlo Esposito will give the command for the firing of the engines ahead of the Cup race. Known for his role on Better Call Saul and as Moff Gideon in Disney Star Wars’ The Mandalorian, Esposito will be part of a duo of dignitaries promoting AMC’s new show Parish.

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Giving the command for the NASCAR Xfinity Series race will be Cody Jinks, an award-winning and multi-platinum independent artist who will be releasing his album Change the Game on March 22.

XPEL Senior Director of Sales Chris Hardy will say the most famous words in motorsports for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race.

Honorary Pace Car Driver: The other half of the Parish duo appearing at the track is Skeet Ulrich, who will be driving the pace car prior to the green for the Cup race. Ulrich has starred in shows such as Riverdale, Jericho and Law & Order: Los Angeles.

Honorary Starter: University of Texas head football coach Steve Sarkisian will wave the green flag for the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix. With Sarkisian at the helm, the Longhorns finished the regular season ranked third in the country with a 12-2 record, clinched the Big 12 title and made their first appearance in the playoffs.

United States Navy veteran and the current PR manager for Focused Health, Rebecca Walters, will wave the green flag for the Focused Health 250. Xpel customer Mitch Genova gets the honor for the Truck race.

Invocation: Los Angeles Chargers placekicker Cameron Dicker will give the invocation prior to the Cup race. A 2022 NFL All-Rookie Team member, Dicker recorded the highest field-goal percentage in NFL history last season by converting 94.5% of his attempts.

Meg Weatherman, who is the wife of Kyle Weatherman, will pray ahead of the Xfinity race. Ahead of the Truck race, Michael McDowell will give the invocation.

National Anthem: For the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix, Rebecca Vermeulen, a San Antonio police officer, will sing the national anthem.

Christian artist Payton Keller will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to the Focused Health 250. She will also sing “God Bless America” before the XPEL 225.

About the author

Luken Glover joined the Frontstretch team in 2020 as a contributor, furthering a love for racing that traces back to his earliest memories. Glover inherited his passion for racing from his grandfather, who used to help former NASCAR team owner Junie Donlavey in his Richmond, Va. garage. A 2023 graduate from the University of the Cumberlands, Glover is the author of "The Underdog House," contributes to commentary pieces, and does occasional at-track reporting. Additionally, Glover enjoys working in ministry, coaching basketball, playing sports, and karting.

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The WWE appearance was appropriate last Sunday for the fiasco at Bristol. so I guess they won’t reappear for at least one example of Brian’s product.


You missed the news. The race is being billed as a fantastic race. I agree with your take.

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