Actor Mario Lopez to wave the green flag in STP Gas Booster 500 race at Martinsville Speedway

Martinsville Speedway announced Thursday that actor Mario Lopez will be the honorary starter for the STP Gas Booster 500 on April 7.

Mario Lopez is best known for his on-screen roles, including his role as A.C. Slater from “Saved By The Bell” in the 1980s, his stint on “Dancing With The Stars” and his current role hosting the television entertainment show “Extra.”

According to a new release, Lopez was chosen to be the honorary starter because he is a NASCAR lover and a car enthusiast.

“My dad is a big car lover and I grew up one too,” said Lopez, who will wave the green flag to start the STP® Gas Booster™ 500.  “I’m honored and excited about being the honorary starter. I’ve been to several NASCAR races, but I’ve never done anything like this. I hope I do everything right.”

Lopez will begin his day in Martinsville with a pace car ride, continue with a pit tour, private time with drivers, attendance at the drivers’ meeting, introduction to the crowd in prerace, and waving the green flag to start the race.

The STP Gas Booster 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is scheduled for Sunday, April 7, the day after the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Pole Day is Friday, April 5.

For more information about the race or to buy tickets, visit online.