Super Late Model racing has always had a flair for the dramatic with close racing, frayed fenders and tight finishes.
But for Zaxby's Speedfest on Jan. 26 at Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele, Ga., the ARCA/CRA Super Series will make it literal -- with 16-time World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair joining the festivities.
"The Nature Boy" will serve as grand marshal for the 200-lap race, a non-points standalone event to unofficially kick-off the CRA's Super Late Model season. Flair will greet fans and sign autographs prior to the green flag.
Flair is a friend of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan, who is entered in the event at the track owned by his uncle, Marvin Ragan. Flair hopes his appearance will inspire the two-time Sprint Cup race winner.
"I'm looking forward to seeing the fans at SpeedFest, and serving as the Grand Marshal at Watermelon Capital Speedway that Sunday," Flair said in a CRA news release. "I'm ready to watch some great racing and to cheer on my buddy, David [Ragan] on his home track.
"Hope to see you kids out there! WOOOOO!"
Flair and Ragan joins an already impressive list of celebrities scheduled to appear at the 3/8-mile Georgia Speedway. The event will also feature autograph sessions with NASCAR stars Jeff Burton and Joe Nemechek, who are attending in support of their driver sons, Harrison Burton and John Hunter.
Flair is a legend in the professional wrestling world and two-time World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame member, recognized for his contributions as both a single competitor and member of the Four Horseman stable that headlined two promotions in two decades.
In retirement, Flair has served as an ambassador for the WWE, most recently promoting the upcoming WWE Network, a 24-hour online streaming television station that is set to debut in February.
His appearance also strengthens the longstanding link between professional wrestling and stock car racing. Both entertainment mediums held a traditional spotlight in the industry with long-time southern champion Lee Fields once selling out a match at Ladd-Peebles Stadium (the Senior Bowl venue) prior to a successful second career as a track operator and promoter at Mobile International Speedway.
Flair is known for his trademark "WOOOOO!TM" and "To be the man, you've got to beat the man."
After the conclusion of 200 laps on Jan. 26 at Watermelon Capital Speedway, "The Man" in the Super Late Model ranks will be decided indeed.
Additional stories on Speedfest and short track racing can be found on our front page.