Actor Kal Penn to Serve as Honorary Pace Car Driver for NASCAR Cup Series Go Bowling at The Glen


Penn will lead the field to green before the penultimate race of the 2023 regular season at Watkins Glen International

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 15, 2023) — Watkins Glen International announced today that actor Kal Penn will serve as the honorary pace car driver ahead of the NASCAR Cup Series Go Bowling at The Glen on Sunday, Aug. 20.

The famed actor and avid NASCAR fan will drive the official Watkins Glen Pace Car around the 2.45-mile road course, leading the field to green before the start of the second-to-last race of the 2023 regular season.

“The upcoming race weekend at Watkins Glen International is sure to have a thrilling atmosphere with high stakes racing and stellar entertainment, and now it‘s even more exciting with the addition of Kal Penn to our race day roster,” said Chip Wile, Senior Vice President and Chief Track Properties Officer at NASCAR. “We‘re honored to welcome Kal to The Glen, as well as all our fans, and can‘t wait to get the triple-header race weekend underway.”

Kal Penn is an actor, writer and producer, known for his roles in TV shows such as House, Designated Survivor, the Harold & Kumar movies, and more. Penn has also written and produced a number of films and television series throughout his career and authored his own memoir as well. Earlier this year, Penn wrapped production on a climate change docuseries and his book You Can‘t Be Serious is available in stores now.

However, Penn‘s expertise expands beyond the film industry. From 2009 to 2011, he took a sabbatical from acting to serve in the White House as President Obama‘s Liaison to Young Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the Arts community. He also served on the President‘s Committee for the Arts and Humanities, and taught courses at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Los Angeles — his alma mater.

“I’ve been a NASCAR fan for about a decade now, and I love seeing the sport grow in new directions,” said Penn. “Bucket list right here, to go from a fan to a fan who gets to be the Honorary Pace Car Driver for Go Bowling at The Glen. I know lots of owners are watching, and I am available if you need another driver on your team.”

The upcoming NASCAR race weekend at Watkins Glen International begins on Friday, Aug. 18, with the ARCA Menards Series General Tire 100 at The Glen, followed by the NASCAR Xfinity Series Shriners Children‘s 200 at The Glen on Saturday, Aug. 19.

Then, on Sunday, fans can watch Kal Penn take his turn on the historic road course, just before drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series compete for the last few spots on the playoff grid in the highly anticipated Go Bowling at The Glen on Sunday, Aug. 20, the penultimate race of the 2023 regular season.

Limited grandstand seating and general admission tickets are still available, with pricing starting at $85. Fans can also purchase tickets to the Bog, Sponsored by Red Cat, a one-of-a-kind hospitality experience, with an exciting view of all things NASCAR, featuring appearances from NASCAR‘s most popular driver Chase Elliott and the back-to-back winner at The Glen, Kyle Larson.

Pre-Race Pit Passes are still available as well. See your favorite drivers up-close on the red carpet, sign the start-finish line and watch driver introductions on the track before Sunday‘s big race.

To purchase race tickets and other ticket add-on packages, or for more information on the upcoming Go Bowling at The Glen NASCAR race weekend, please visit

About Watkins Glen International

Located within five hours and 300 miles of 25 percent of the U.S. population, Watkins Glen International is the premier road racing facility in North America, four-times voted “Best NASCAR Track” by readers of USA Today. Keep up with The Glen on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For tickets, camping, and additional information, call 1-866-461-RACE or visit and get all of the latest information by downloading the NASCAR tracks app at