Former Major League Baseball superstar and current owner of United Soccer League (USL) Championship team Las Vegas Lights FC, José Bautista, is shifting gears from the baseball diamond and soccer pitch to the racetrack as he takes on the role of honorary pace car driver for the Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube on March 3.

Nicknamed “Joey Bats” during his baseball days, Bautista is best known for his impressive 15-season career in the MLB, primarily with the Toronto Blue Jays. He still is considered one of the most feared sluggers of his era, with 344 career home runs, three Silver Slugger Awards, two Hank Aaron Awards and a six-time MLB All-Star. Not only is he decorated with honorary awards, but he is also known for remarkable achievements and iconic moments, such as the memorable Bat Flip™ from Game 5 of the 2015 American League Division Series against the Texas Rangers.

“I‘m really looking forward to Sunday,” Bautista said. “I‘ve been able to watch a few NASCAR races from afar, but to be the guy leading them to the green flag on Sunday is going to be something else. I can‘t wait.”

In January, Bautista added principal owner of Las Vegas Lights FC to his growing list of remarkable roles and is positioned to see his team to play a key role in the rapidly growing Las Vegas sports landscape. The club has made a series of impressive offseason acquisitions including the signings of Ghanian forward Solomon Asante (a 2-time USL Championship Player of the Year), veteran English midfielder Charlie Adams (196 career USL Championship appearances), and the promising 20-year old Dominican midfielder Edison Azcona (on loan from Inter Miami CF of MLS). The club‘s new era kicks-off on Saturday, March 9 when it visits Memphis 901 FC before its home opener against FC Tulsa on Saturday, March 16 at Cashman Field. Both season tickets and single-match tickets are on sale now at

Bautista joins Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams, actor and comedian Nick Cannon, current Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo, former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch as honorary pace car drivers at LVMS.

This year’s race weekend festivities begin on Thursday, February 29, with the famous hauler parade on the Las Vegas Strip, and racing action will start on Friday, March 1, with the Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 presented by Westgate Resorts NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. The LiUNA NASCAR Xfinity Series is scheduled for Saturday, March 2, and the Pennzoil 400 will conclude the racing weekend on Sunday, March 3.

For more information on the Pennzoil 400 race weekend, visit or call 1-800-644-4444. Military discounts are available for single-day tickets, and the college student and educator $19 ticket offer is available for Sunday’s race.

— Las Vegas Motor Speedway —

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