C.J. Wilson to drive pace car at TMS

Texas Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson will drive the official pace car that leads the 43-car field to the green flag at Sunday's AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race.

It's a rare honor for Wilson, who helped the Rangers reach their first World Series. Usually, honored race guests ride along in the official pace car or drive a secondary pace vehicle. NASCAR granted special permission to TMS to let Wilson drive the lead pace car.

"It's been an incredible few weeks with us becoming the American League champs, making our first World Series appearance in the history of the organization," Wilson said. "... I've always had a passion for racing so this is going to be a really cool deal for me to lead some of the best drivers in the world to the green flag."

The only previous celebrity to drive the lead pace car at TMS was actor Vince Vaughn, who did it for the November 2007 Sprint Cup race.

Wilson (15-8, 3.35 ERA) helped lead the Rangers to their first World Series this season, finishing among the American League's top 10 in wins, ERA and opponent's batting average. Wilson also was 1-2 with a 3.70 ERA in the postseason.

The AAA Texas 500 is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET Sunday and will be televised on ESPN.