Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, stars of the MTV hit series, “The Hills” will serve as honorary starters and wave the green flag to start the Pepsi 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, August 31. They will be joined during the pre-race ceremonies by American Idol season four runner-up Bo Bice, who will perform “The Star Spangled Banner,”
and mixed martial arts star Randy Couture will serve as honorary race official and pace car driver, leading the field to the green flag from behind the wheel of the official Chevrolet pace car.
Giving the command to start engines will be TV icon Drew Carey, announced earlier as the event’s Grand Marshal.
Montag and Pratt star in MTV’s reality show “The Hills”, which is currently in its fourth season. Montag is a native of Crested Butte, CO and moved to Los Angeles shortly after graduating from high school, where she met Pratt, a native of Malibu, CA. Montag is currently employed as an event planner with well-known Hollywood production company, Bolthouse Productions.
Bice released his second album, “See The Light,” last October and is currently on a national tour. The Huntsville, AL native spent his youth moving between Georgia, Alabama and Florida before his family relocated to England when he was 12; Ozzy Osbourne and his family were neighbors for a time. He returned to Alabama, playing clubs and opening for national acts such as Warrant and Blackfoot. With a wife and young son, he was also managing a guitar shop for $20,000 a year when he auditioned for “American Idol” on a lark, walking in as “the last person in the world who thought I was going to make it as far as I did.” But he wowed the famed trio of judges with his rock ‘n’ roll grit–including an audition version of the Allmans’ “Whipping Post”–and did the same with the reality show’s huge national audience, which clearly had an appetite for a contestant with genuine rock spirit.
Mixed martial arts star Couture has over 25 years of training in freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling and made his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut in 1997 at the age of 33. His quick success gained him the nickname “The Natural” and he went on to be the only competitor to hold titles in the Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight divisions. Couture was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2006. He has also taken up acting and owns two training centers. Couture is also a sponsored athlete of Affliction Clothing, which will make its motorsports sponsorship debut at the Pepsi 500.
One of television’s biggest stars, Drew Carey succeeded longtime host Bob Barker on the legendary show “The Price Is Right” after having had the distinction of starring in two hit shows simultaneously: “The Drew Carey Show”, which ran from 1995-2004, and the improv/sketch show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” on which he was both host and producer.