Talladega Superspeedway announced Monday that Auburn basketball head coach Bruce Pearl would be waving the green flag at the upcoming YellaWood 500 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs race.

Pearl, who has turned around a struggling Auburn basketball program in his eight years on The Plains, will be the honorary starter at Talladega on Sunday.

"I am super excited to wave the green flag to start the YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway," Pearl, who led the Tigers to their first-ever Final Four appearance, said in a statement. "I can't wait to see the speed of the cars plus see how the race teams will strategize to get to get a 'W.' I am thankful to the YellaWood team for giving me this opportunity."

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Talladega Superspeedway president Brian Crichton praised Pearl's "passion" and added it would only raise "what is already going to be an electric atmosphere."

"I am sure Coach Pearl will bring that same passion that he showcases on the court at Auburn to Talladega Superspeedway for the YellaWood 500," emphasized Crichton. "He will add even more to what is already going to be an electric atmosphere. We, like many fans who will be here in attendance, are thrilled he will be here."

Pearl will also participate in pre-race festivities, which begin at 11:30 a.m., at the Driver Introductions Stage on pit road.

The race starts at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 2.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email trent.baker@1819news.com.

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