· Hot off of starring in the year’s biggest movie, Ellis and Pullman will serve as co-Grand Marshals and Ramirez as Honorary Starter for the opening Round of 12 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race.

FORT WORTH, Texas (September 20, 2022) – Jay Ellis, Danny Ramirez, and Lewis Pullman, who star as elite pilots in the #1 film of 2022, Top Gun: Maverick, will experience a different kind of speed at Sunday’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway.

The trio will be featured in the key dignitary roles for the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500, the opening race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12 (2:30 p.m. CT, TV: USA Network, Radio: SiriusXM Ch. 90, PRN, 95.9 The Ranch locally).

Ellis, who plays Lt. Reuben “Payback” Fitch in the blockbuster movie, and Pullman, who plays Lt. Robert “Bob” Floyd, will serve as co-Grand Marshals and deliver the “Drivers, Start Your Engines” command to the entire NASCAR Cup Series field.

Ramirez, who portrays Lt. Mickey “Fanboy” Garcia, will serve as the Honorary Starter and wave the green flag from atop the starter’s stand to officially commence the 334-lap, 501-mile playoff race in NASCAR’s premier series.

In addition to Top Gun: Maverick, Ellis is known for his role as the fan-favorite ‘Lawrence’ on HBO’s critically acclaimed and Emmy®-nominated series “Insecure,” which earned him an NAACP Image Award in 2018.

Other credits include FX’s Emmy-nominated limited series “Mrs. America,” a starring role on the hit BET series “The Game” from 2013-2015, and roles on “Masters of Sex,” “Grace & Frankie,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “NCIS: Los Angeles.” He recently wrapped production on the Amazon feature, Somebody I Used to Know.

Pullman currently has starring roles in Amazon’s hit series “Outer Range,” as well as the recently released adaptation of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot. He also stars opposite Kathy Bates and John Malkovich in the upcoming Ken Kwapis film Thelma, which debuts Nov. 10 in the U.S.

Prior to Top Gun: Maverick, Pullman was known for his leading roles in the 2018 films The Strangers: Prey at Night and Bad Times at the El Royale. He also starred in the 2019 Sundance favorite Them That Follow, the 2020 film Pink Skies, and George Clooney’s Hulu mini-series “Catch 22” as Major Major.

Ramirez is well known for his portrayal of ‘Joaquin Torres’ from the Marvel series “The Falcon & The Winter Soldier” in which he co-starred opposite Anthony Mackie. He was recently seen in the Hulu suspense/thriller No Exit and in Netflix’s dual-timeline drama Look Both Ways.

Additional film credits include festival favorites such as Sam Levinson’s Assassination Nation (2018 Sundance Film Festival), Katherine O’Brien’s Lost Transmissions (2019 Tribeca Film Festival), and David Raboy’s The Giant (2019 Toronto International Film Festival).

Tom Cruise stars in the global phenomenon Top Gun: Maverick, which continues to break records, earning more than $1.4 billion at the global box office and still climbing. The film recently became the #5 highest grossing film in domestic box office history while simultaneously becoming the #1 Week-One Digital sell-through title of all time in the U.S. and in major territories around the world. The film can still be seen in theatres and was released for sale across Digital platforms on August 23.

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).

The newly renovated Lil’ Texas Motor Speedway 1/5-mile dirt track will kick off the weekend of racing with the inaugural C. Bell’s MICRO MANIA. The four-day event (Sept. 21-24) features practice on Wednesday, qualifying races Thursday and Friday, and mains and finals Saturday. Micro Sprints are smaller versions of full-sized sprint cars with side-mounted 600cc motorcycle engines that can generate 140 horsepower with similar chassis and body styles to the larger versions. NASCAR stars currently confirmed to participate include Christopher Bell, two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch and his son Brexton Busch, Sheldon Creed, Daniel Hemric, Brett Moffitt, and John Hunter Nemechek.

For ticket information for this weekend’s NASCAR Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 playoff doubleheader, including individual day tickets for C. Bell’s MICRO MANIA, please visit

Season tickets and camping for Texas Motor Speedway’s 2023 major event season are on sale now. Save up to 33 percent versus buying individual tickets, take advantage of interest-free monthly payments, get the best seat selection and more. All-new reduced rates are available for the GEICO Infield, GEICO VIP and WinStar World Casino & Resort Lone Star Circle camping areas. Click HERE for more information and to purchase season tickets.

Keep track of all of Texas Motor Speedway’s busy schedule by following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Keep up with all the latest news and information on the speedway website and TMS mobile app.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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