NASCAR has cringed whenever fans, media and the occasional driver have mentioned professional wrestling and stock car racing in the same breath.
The sanctioning body seems to hate comparisons to the WWE, since that sport is staged and scripted. NASCAR has spent much time convincing people that it conducts it business on the up-and-up and doesn't try to tweak the outcome of its events in order to create artificial drama.
So it was puzzling, then, that on Monday night's episode of WWE Raw, Carl Edwards drove his car into the arena to invite wrestler John Cena to be the 2012 Daytona 500 honorary starter "on behalf of NASCAR."
Cena is no doubt a superstar in the eyes of WWE fans – many of whom might tune in to the start of the Daytona 500 to watch him wave the green flag.
But to a mainstream sports fan who turns on NASCAR's Super Bowl to give racing a chance, having a WWE wrestler start the race only reinforces the stereotypes some people hold about NASCAR.
Anyway, at least it's not Snooki.
Here's a video of the moment Cena was invited to have one of racing's biggest honors: