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SNL's Kenan Thompson named grand marshal at Atlanta

Atlanta native and comedy sketch actor Kenan Thompson of "Saturday Night Live" fame will return to his home city of Atlanta to serve as the grand marshal for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018.

Born and raised in Atlanta, Thompson made his television debut as a 16-year-old on Nickelodeon's wildly popular all-kid sketch comedy-variety show "All That" in 1994 before starring in the American teen sitcom "Kenan and Kel" alongside Kel Mitchell between 1996 and 1999. Thompson also appeared in several films early in his career, including "Good Burger," "D2: The Mighty Ducks," and "Heavyweights" among others.

Thompson will visit with race fans, attend the pre-race drivers' meeting and give the drivers' command as part of his grand marshal duties.

"Atlanta Motor Speedway is my home track, and being grand marshal at the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 is a great honor," said Thompson. "I'll make my city proud."

Recently, Thompson has returned for his 15th season on "Saturday Night Live," making him the show's longest-running cast member. He has made numerous contributions to the show with his slew of hilarious impressions that include Rev. Al Sharpton, Charles Barkley, Steve Harvey and David Ortiz, and by playing memorable characters such as DJ Dynasty Handbag, the scathingly fierce co-host of "Deep House Dish," boisterous second wife Virginiaca Hastings and "Weekend Update" correspondent Jean K. Jean.

Thompson has also showcased his voice talents as Greedy Smurf in the animated films "The Smurfs" and "The Smurfs 2." Other past projects include starring opposite Samuel L. Jackson in "Snakes on a Plane," Wieners" and "The Magic of Belle Isle" with Morgan Freeman.

The Atlanta NASCAR Weekend features Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying on Friday, Feb. 23, the NASCAR XFINITY Series Rinnai 250 and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Active Pest Control 200 Benefiting Children's Healthcare of Atlanta doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 24, and culminates with the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 25.

For more information or purchase tickets today, call the AMS ticket office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.

--- Atlanta Motor Speedway ---