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NFL great LaDainian Tomlinson named honorary starter for Daytona 500

NFL legend LaDainian Tomlinson tackles Slingshot Blitz at Tostitos Party Blvd., one of the ultimate party destinations of Super Bowl XLIX on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 in Phoenix. The multi-day experience challenges fans with larger-than life party games and celebrates the Tostitos brands place as the official chip and dip sponsor of the NFL. (Omar Vega / Invision for Tostitos/AP Images)
NFL legend LaDainian Tomlinson tackles Slingshot Blitz at Tostitos Party Blvd., one of the ultimate party destinations of Super Bowl XLIX on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 in Phoenix. The multi-day experience challenges fans with larger-than life party games and celebrates the Tostitos brands place as the official chip and dip sponsor of the NFL. (Omar Vega / Invision for Tostitos/AP Images)
Associated Press

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NFL great LaDainian Tomlinson, who could be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame later this week, has been named honorary starter for the upcoming Daytona 500.

Tomlinson will waive the green flag to start “The Great American Race” at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 26.

Tomlinson, a former All-Pro running back with the San Diego Chargers, is one of 18 finalists for the 2017 Hall of Fame class. The class will be announced Saturday, the day before the Super Bowl.

Having retired from the NFL in 2012, Tomlinson is now an analyst for the NFL Network. He also will make his feature-film acting debut in “God Bless The Broken Road” later this year.

Other Daytona 500 pre-race celebrities include Owen Wilson (grand marshal), Jordin Sparks (national anthem) and Lady Antebellum (pre-race concert).

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