‘Start Your Engines’: Astronaut to give command to Talladega drivers 250 miles above Earth

Astronaut Doug Hurley is Grand Marshal
Astronaut Doug Hurley is Grand Marshal(NASCAR/Talladega Superspeedway)
Updated: Jun. 20, 2020 at 3:44 PM CDT
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TALLADEGA, Ala. (WBRC) - This sports news is out of this world. Astronaut Doug Hurley, who is on board the International Space Station as commander of SpaceX’s historic Demo-2 (DM-2) spaceflight, will give the command to fire engines for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Hurley will serve as the Grand Marshal for the GEICO 500.

Hurley, a longtime NASCAR fan, will give the command from 250 miles above Earth.

Talladega Superspeedway will be one of the first sports venues to have a return of fans – up to 5,000 - in attendance.

The GEICO 500, set for a 2:00 PM CDT start, will be broadcast LIVE on WBRC FOX6.

Apollo 11 Astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, was the Grand Marshal of the 1994 summer Talladega 500. Aldrin added a personal touch in commanding the drivers to start their engines, stating “Gentlemen, energize your groundcraft.”

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