Five-time Rolex 24 at Daytona champion Hurley Haywood will wave the green flag for the 55th edition of the endurance race. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Five-time Rolex 24 at Daytona champion Hurley Haywood will serve as honorary starter for this weekend’s 55th running of the endurance event.

Haywood will wave the green flag Saturday for the season-opening race for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Haywood, who shares the record for most Rolex 24 overall championships with Scott Pruett, co-drove to victories in 1973, '75, '77, '79 and '91. Haywood and Peter Gregg formed one of sports car racing’s most iconic teams in the 1970s at Brumos Porsche Racing.

"It’s cool to have the honor of starting the Rolex 24," Haywood said. "I spent 40 years taking the green flag, but never throwing it. It’s exciting to be here. There are a lot of great-looking cars and a great driver lineup."

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