Phoenix track bringing in more muscle for Chase race: UFC legend Chuck Liddell

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Given how important – and potentially how wild – the ninth and next-to-last race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup will be, Phoenix International Raceway is calling in some extra muscle for drivers who may potentially get out of hand.

Okay, we’re kidding about the last part but not about the muscle, as UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell will drive the Toyota pace car at PIR for the Nov. 9 Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 Sprint Cup race there.

“I can’t wait to get behind the wheel and pull out onto the track with the best drivers in the world at (PIR),” Liddell said in a media release. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for what NASCAR drivers do, and to have the opportunity to lead them to the green flag in the semifinal race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup will be a huge honor.”

Nicknamed the “Iceman” for his coolness under pressure, Liddell joined the UFC in 1998 and was champion of the 205-pound division from 2005 to 2007, including an infamous knockout of fellow star Randy Couture, who has gone on to an acting career since then.

Liddell now serves as UFC executive vice president of business development.

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