Not long after adding roles in Trainwreck and Sisters to his IMDB profile, then becoming the host of American Grit, professional wrestler John Cena has been named honorary starter for the next weekend’s Daytona 500. The WWE superstar will lead the field around the oval to the green flag, driving a Toyota Camry. It is his second time acting in an official capacity at the race, after waving said green flag as honorary starter in 2012.
No doubt Daytona’s significance and Cena’s NASCAR love overcame his reservations at piloting a Camry in the Super Bowl of stock car racing. The Massachusetts native is a huge car guy, but keeps the provenance of his collection strictly local; when Motor Trend profiled him in 2009 he had 21 cars, all but one of them from Detroit. The outlier was the 2007 Saleen Parnelli Jones Limited Edition, but that SoCal-modified coupe is based on a Ford Mustang. His daily driver at the time was a 1971 AMC Hornet SC/360. If there were a test for red-blooded meat-eating Commie-smashing patriotism, that alone would get him an A-plus.
So when Cena and NASCAR get locked in the oval together on February 21 and the entire southern United States quakes with the unimaginable and God-fearing magnitude of it, we just might grab a little American flag and wave it. And then we’ll hop in a Dodge Viper and do burnouts to “Make it Loud,” ‘cause that’s more how we roll.