Now that his football career is behind him, former Baltimore Ravens star linebacker and two-time Super Bowl champion Ray Lewis has a bit of time on his hands.
Brad Keselowski, who is the defending Sprint Cup champion, is excited to have Lewis as the honorary starter for the Daytona 500. Keselowski used to listen to Lewis' famous pregame speeches to help motivate him before a race.
During the 2012 season, Lewis left Keselowski an inspirational voice message before the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and Brad spoke about Lewis via Fox:
What I like about Ray Lewis, and I know he's got a lot of people that don't like him, so I'll acknowledge that. But what I like about Ray Lewis is that he brings a level of passion that is really unparalleled in his sport, and he's successful because of it. It's kind of this mix of old school, mental prep that just fascinates me. ...
I want to bring that same level of passion, that same level of intensity to NASCAR that he's brought to his respective team in the NFL.
On the field, Lewis was a 13-time Pro Bowler, seven-time first-team All-Pro (three-time second team) and two-time AP Defensive Player of the Year. Because of his well-established off-field problems earlier in his career, combined with his over-the-top personality, people usually either love him or hate him.
Also participating in the Daytona 500 events are rappers T.I. and 50 Cent. Actor James Franco will be the grand marshal who yells out the famous "Start your engines!" line.
With such an eclectic group of celebrities in attendance, the atmosphere is sure to be even more electric than usual.
The race takes place at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. ET. It can be viewed on Fox.