Henry Ceujdo CW500 Pace Car Driver 800x400



Phoenix native, Olympic gold medalist and current UFC flyweight Henry “The Messenger” Cejudo will lead the field to the green flag behind the wheel of the Official 2017 Chevrolet Camaro Pace Car at the start of the Camping World 500 at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday, March 19. As the official pace car driver, the 29-year old mixed martial artist will take an honorary lap around the one-mile oval.

“Starting the Camping World 500 as the official pace car driver will be an honor,” said Cejudo. “I have so much respect for what NASCAR drivers do, and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel and take a lap in front of my home town crowd.”

Cejudo, who attended Maryvale High School in Phoenix before graduating from Coronado High School in Colorado Springs, CO., won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. At age 21, he became the youngest Olympic wrestling champion in U.S. history, earning him the recognition of being named one of Arizona's ten most fascinating people by the Arizona Republic in 2008.

After signing with UFC in 2014, Cejudo has earned a 10-2-0 record and is currently ranked No. 2 flyweight in the world. Known for his wrestling technique, he also appeared as one of the coaches, opposite Joseph Benavidez on The Ultimate Fighter 24.

When he’s not competing, Cejudo is also a published author, writing “American Victory” in 2009 about his journey to becoming an Olympian, as well as contributing to “Wrestling for Dummies.”

In addition to his duties behind the wheel, Cejudo will make a promotional appearance at Phoenix Raceway prior to the race on Sunday, March 19. Check back for more information on timing and other celebrity appearances.

Tickets and pit passes for the Camping World 500 on March 19 start at just $25 and can be
purchased online, by phone at 866-408-RACE (7223) or in person at the track ticket office.

Cejudo’s appearance was the result of a partnership between Phoenix Raceway and Niner Sports & Entertainment.  


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