Thursday, September 23, 2021

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Two-time Olympian and current UFC star Dan Henderson will lead the field to the green flag behind the wheel of the Official Toyota Camry Pace Car at the start of the 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, March 15. Henderson’s appearance was the result of a partnership between PIR and Niner Sports & Entertainment.  As the official pace car driver, the 44-year old mixed martial artist will take an honorary lap around the one-mile oval.

“I’m excited to get behind the wheel and pull out onto the track at Phoenix International Raceway and help start the 500,” Henderson said. “NASCAR drivers are the best in the world at what they do, and I can’t wait to see them in my rear view mirror just before they take the green flag. It’s a great honor and it’s going to be a huge thrill.”

Henderson represented the United States in the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games. He also wrestled collegiately at Arizona State and was a three-time USA University Greco-Roman National Champion. He began his mixed martial arts career in 1997, winning the championship in that year’s Brazil Open Lightweight Tournament.

Henderson owns more major tournament titles than any other athlete in MMA history, winning four different international events in three weight divisions – heavyweight, light heavyweight and middleweight. He is the only man in MMA history to hold the title in multiple weight classes at the same time.

In addition to his duties behind the wheel, Henderson will make a promotional appearance at PIR prior to the race on Sunday, March 15. For more information on timing and other appearances, please visit

Tickets for the 500 on March 15 start at just $25. For tickets and information, visit or call 866-408-RACE (7223)

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