Sherry Pollex, a champion for survivors of cancer, will serve as the honorary pace car driver for Sunday’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500, the opening race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12, at Texas Motor Speedway.

Pollex will drive the 2022 Texas Motor Speedway Chevrolet Camaro pace car that will help lead the NASCAR Cup Series field, which includes her long-time partner Martin Truex Jr., to the green flag for the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at 2:30 p.m. CT (TV: USA Network, Radio: SiriusXM Ch. 90, PRN and 95.9 The Ranch locally).

At age 35, Pollex was diagnosed with stage 3c ovarian cancer and doctors estimated her chance of survival was less than 30 percent within five years. She underwent a radical hysterectomy, debulking surgery and 17 months of chemotherapy to overcome the cancer.

For her 37th birthday, she launched to empower women to know their bodies, recognize the symptoms of ovarian cancer and learn how integrative and holistic practices may complement conventional medicine. Now 43 years old, she is the founder of the Sherry Strong Integrative Medicine Oncology Clinic at Novant Health in Charlotte, North Carolina and hosts the annual “Catwalk for a Cause” charity fundraising event among her many initiatives.

 The Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 pre-race activities also will feature one of the fastest-rising, stand-up comedians, John Crist (left). Widely known for viral videos such as “Honest Football Coach,” “Every Parent at Disney,” “Brands that need to be CANCELLED,” he will handle the driver introductions with his humorous twist. Crist has drawn more than one billion video views, attracted over five million fans on social media and has sold out shows from coast to coast.

Earlier this year, he released his second special “What are We Doing” on YouTube and is set to release his first book “Delete That” on Oct. 18. Crist also has a weekly podcast called “Net Positive.”

Pollex and Crist will be joined by a diverse group of honorary race officials that consists of actors, country music artists and professional soccer players.

Country music performers Cole Swindell and Ashley Cooke; Power Universe on Starz actors and “The Crew Has It” podcast co-hosts Michael Rainey Jr. and Gianni Paolo; FC Dallas defender and team captain Matt Hedges, midfielder Sebastian Lietget and keeper Maarten Paes all will take part in the pre-race activities for the start of the second round of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

Earlier this week, the Top Gun: Maverick co-stars Manny Ramirez, Jay Ellis and Lewis Pullman were named to the Honorary Starter and Grand Marshal roles. Ramirez will serve as the Honorary Starter and wave the green flag while Ellis and Pullman will be co-Grand Marshals and provide the start command to the NASCAR Cup Series field.

Complete dignitaries list for Sunday’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500:

  • Co-Grand Marshals: Jay Ellis and Lewis Pullman, co-stars, Top Gun: Maverick.
  • Honorary Starter: Manny Ramirez, co-star, Top Gun: Maverick.
  • Official Pace Car Driver: Sherry Pollex, cancer survivor.
  • Starting Line-Up Emcee: John Crist, comedian.
  • Honorary Race Officials: Country music artists Cole Swindell and Ashley Cooke; Power Universe on Starz actors Gianni Paolo and Michael Rainey Jr.; FC Dallas soccer players Matt Hedges, Sebastian Lietget and Maarten Paes.
  • Flag arrival: RE/MAX Skydiving Team.
  • National Anthem: Fort Hood 1st Calvary Division Band.
  • Presentation of Colors: Fort Hood 1st Calvary Division Honor Guard.
  • Invocation: Bret Shisler, TXARM.
  • Flyover: Four T-38s, 80th Flying Training Wing, Sheppard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls, Texas (Turn 4 to Turn 1).

Complete dignitaries list for Saturday’s Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 Xfinity Series Playoff race:

  • Grand Marshal: Andy Kunz, chief executive officer, Andy’s Frozen Custard.
  • Honorary Starter: Tom Kazbour, franchisee, Andy’s Frozen Custard.
  • Flag arrival: RE/MAX Skydiving Team.
  • National Anthem: Janie Balderas, Texas Country Music recording artist.
  • Presentation of Colors: Grapevine Police Department Honor Guard.
  • Invocation: Bret Shisler, TXARM.

Texas Motor Speedway will play host to the 2022 NASCAR Playoffs this weekend. The NASCAR Playoffs doubleheader will be highlighted by the NASCAR Xfinity Series Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 on Saturday (2:30 p.m. CT on USA Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Ch. 90, and PRN), and the NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 on Sunday (2:30 p.m. CT on USA Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Ch. 90, PRN, and 95.9 The Ranch).