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“The Walking Dead” actor Tom Payne to serve as honorary starter at Kansas

Tom Payne, who can currently be seen as Jesus Monroe in AMC’s record-breaking hit series, The Walking Dead, has been named as the honorary starter for the Oct. 21 Hollywood Casino 400, the elimination race for the second round of the Monster Energy NASCAR playoffs.

Payne’s character is beloved in the comic book series and his debut in the middle of season six was met with both fan and critic approval. The latest season of The Walking Dead premieres on Sunday, October 07.

“Not sure what is more exciting, fighting walkers or waving the green flag to start off the Hollywood Casino 400!” said Payne. “I’m thrilled to be a part of a NASCAR playoff race and look forward to meeting the racers and fans at Kansas Speedway!”

“I look forward to hosting Tom at the Hollywood Casino 400,” said Kansas Speedway President Patrick Warren. “It’s always great to welcome someone to Kansas Speedway for the first time and I look forward to hearing about his experience.”

In addition to his role in The Walking Dead, Payne starred in Luck, the critically acclaimed HBO series, and made his feature film debut in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, opposite Amy Adams and Frances McDormand, and was cited as one of Screen International’s “Stars of Tomorrow.”

Payne also played the lead role in The Physician, which was released by Universal Pictures internationally. Other credits include the BBC telefilm Best, Miss Marple and Wuthering Heights.

Tickets for the Hollywood Casino 400 (Oct. 21), Kansas Lottery 300 (Oct. 20) and the season finale for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards (Oct. 19) are on sale now at, by calling 866.460.7223 or at the Kansas Speedway Ticket Office Monday – Friday from 9 AM – 5 PM. A limited number of camping spaces are still available for the October race weekend as well by calling 866.460.7223. Pre-race passes for Oct. 21 and DC Solar FanWalk tickets for Oct. 19 and Oct. 20 are also available online and by calling the Kansas Speedway Ticket Office.

The Hollywood Casino 400 will air on NBC at 1 PM CT on Oct. 21.

— Kansas Speedway —