NASCAR

NFL Hall of Famer Kelly named Aaron¿s 499 grand marshal

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TALLADEGA, Ala.

Football great Jim Kelly, the only quarterback in NFL history to guide his team to four consecutive Super Bowls, will be the grand marshal for Sunday¿s Aaron¿s 499 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Kelly, part owner of a NASCAR Busch Series race team with veteran car owner Frank Cicci that makes its debut during Saturday¿s Aaron¿s 312, played his entire 11-year NFL career with the Buffalo Bills.

In that time, Kelly went to four Super Bowls and five Pro Bowls. He was named Pro Bowl MVP in 1990 and is one of only five quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for at least 3,000 yards in eight seasons.

"I am both honored and thrilled by being named grand marshal for a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race on one of its most exciting and competitive race tracks," Kelly said. "I was coming to Talladega to help our new race team make its debut on Saturday with in the car, so being asked to hang around for another day to help start Sunday¿s race made it easy to say ¿yes¿ and ¿thank you.¿ "

Kelly and his wife, Jill, have a 6-year-old son, Hunter, who has a terminal illness called Krabbé disease. Krabbé disease is a rare, degenerative disorder of the central and peripheral nervous systems that affects the growth of the myelin sheath, the fatty covering which acts as an insulator, on nerve fibers in the brain.

Kelly became involved in NASCAR to help raise awareness for the disease and to raise funds for Hunter¿s Hope Foundation, an organization founded in Hunter¿s name. Hunter¿s Hope Foundation raises funds for families of children who have Krabbé disease.

Great seats remain for the Aaron's Dream Weekend, including Talladega Tower tickets, located near Turn 1, just past the Start/Finish Line. Aaron¿s Dream Weekend is the Aaron¿s 312 NASCAR Busch Series race on Saturday, and the Aaron¿s 499 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race on Sunday.

Fans can call the track's ticket office at (256) 362-RACE Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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