C.J. WILSON OF AL CHAMPION TEXAS RANGERS TO DRIVE OFFICIAL PACE CAR, LEAD AAA TEXAS 500 STARTING FIELD TO GREEN FLAG FORT WORTH, Texas (November 4, 2010) -- American League Cy Young contender C.J. Wilson, who helped guide the Texas Rangers to...
C.J. WILSON OF AL CHAMPION TEXAS RANGERS TO DRIVE OFFICIAL PACE CAR, LEAD AAA TEXAS 500 STARTING FIELD TO GREEN FLAG
FORT WORTH, Texas (November 4, 2010) -- American League Cy Young contender C.J. Wilson, who helped guide the Texas Rangers to the organization's first World Series appearance, will get the rare opportunity courtesy of Texas Motor Speedway to drive the official pace car that will lead the 43-car field to the green flag for Sunday's AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
Honored race guests traditionally get the opportunity to ride in the lead pace car or drive a secondary pace vehicle, but NASCAR has granted Texas Motor Speedway special permission to allow Wilson to drive the 2011 "No Limits" Chevrolet Camaro that will lead the Sprint Cup Series field to the green flag. NASCAR's long-time pace car driver Buster Auton is scheduled to provide Wilson with a mandatory on-track orientation prior to Sunday's Chase for the Sprint Cup race.
Wilson will be only the second celebrity in the history of Texas Motor Speedway to have the honor of leading the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series field. He will join movie star Vince Vaughn, who paced the field to the green flag for the Dickies 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in November of 2007. Former Dallas Stars superstar Mike Modano was scheduled to lead the field at April's Samsung Mobile 500, but did not have the opportunity to return when the race was postponed to a Monday start due to rain.
Wilson, a 29-year-old left-hander, was a career-best 15-8 with a 3.35 earned-run average. In 204 innings, he had 170 strikeouts and held opponents to a .217 batting average. His win total, ERA and opponent's batting average against all ranked among the top 10 in the American League.
Wilson was 1-2 with a 3.70 ERA in four post-season starts as the Rangers won the American League crown to earn the organization its first-ever World Series berth. The Rangers lost to the San Francisco Giants, 4-1, in the series to end the most successful season in team history.