Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson gives starting command for 2024 Daytona 500

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson delivered the starting command at the 2024 Daytona 500 on Monday afternoon. 

The WWE legend served as the grand marshal for the 66th running at the Daytona International Speedway. Dressed in all black, Johnson signaled the start of the NASCAR Cup Series in true The Rock fashion.

‘In the proud spirit of America and in the proud spirit of our great country,’ Johnson said.

‘Finally, the Rock says, drivers, start your engine,’ he exclaimed. 

Following his command, the broadcast cut to several drivers as they revved up their cars. His signal was also accompanied by six fighter jets flying over the venue. 

 

The WWE legend gave drivers the starting command at the Daytona International Speedway 

The race was originally scheduled for Sunday but got delayed due to the weather conditions in Daytona. The competition was pushed to Monday as a result of rain drenching the racetrack.

Johnson, however, remained in town to deliver the starting command the following day. 

‘We got a little rained out, I was hoping we didn’t,’ Johnson said on Fox Sports. ‘However, we want the track [to be] safe, obviously, for our racers. And man, I can not wait. I’m sticking around, I’m gonna say it tomorrow.’

Johnson also spoke about the energy of the crowd during NASCAR races and the spectacle that takes place on race day. 

‘I’m always blown away by the energy of the crowd,’ he said. ‘It’s why we do what we do. Whether it’s here, behind the microphone, driving, in the ring, on the field, whatever it is- you always wanna connect with the crowd.

‘I’ve always been blown away by the racing fans and the energy and the electricity. There’s a word I like to use, mana, and you could feel it.’

The race was originally scheduled for Sunday but got delayed due to weather conditions 

Johnson stuck around to deliver his starting command on Monday despite the weather delay

The Jumanji star also promoted the United Football League ahead of his grand marshal duties on Monday. Johnson co-owns the merger between the XFL and United States Football League which is set to kick off its first season in March. 

‘We can’t wait, it has combined leagues with the XFL and USFL, and we’re super excited about it,’ Johnson said of the league. ‘We believe in the league. I think you’re gonna see great football here on Fox, of course. You’re gonna see passionate players.’

Despite a successful career in pro wrestling and film, Johnson admitted his dream of becoming an NFL player. He stated how the UFL will provide an opportunity for aspiring athletes to pursue a career in the sport. 

‘You’ll get to see players grabbing the thing that we all want which is opportunity,’ said Johnson. ‘Making it to the NFL was my dream, it never happened. It was the best thing to never happen for me.

‘It gave me a chip on the shoulder. And a lot of our players, daresay all of our players in the UFL got that same chip, because they’re ready to go. I cannot wait.’ 

 

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