Grand Marshal of Ford Championship Weekend: It’s a ‘Dirty Job’

Mike Rowe named Grand Marshal

Rowe will give the traditional command of “Drivers, start your engines” to the 43 star racers of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series before the start of the Ford 400


Stock cars weighing in at 3400 pounds tearing around a 1.5-mile oval, trading paint and burning rubber, charging through dust and debris. Competing for motorsports’ ultimate prize—the Sprint Cup Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway —can be a dirty job, so who better to deliver the most famous words in racing at NASCAR’s Nov. 22 Championship finale than Mike Rowe, host of Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs”?
Creator and executive producer of the Emmy-nominated series, Rowe will provide the Grand Marshal command of “Gentlemen, start your engines!” to the 43 Sprint Cup drivers competing in the Nov. 22 Ford 400, the headline event of NASCAR’s series-crowning Ford Championship Weekend. Having spent years traveling the country as an apprentice on more than 200 jobs that most people would go out of their way to avoid, Rowe is no doubt up to this task.

“I'm very proud to be the Grand Marshal of the Ford 400 Sprint Cup Championship,” said Rowe, CEO of “I've had a lot of jobs in my life but never once have been a Grand Marshal—never been a Grand anything, actually. So I hope I can live up to the billing and give the drivers and the audience the best rendition of ‘Gentlemen, start your engines’ that they've ever heard. Thank you to Ford and Homestead-Miami Speedway for this opportunity.”

“Most people who get this honor don’t get a lot of practice leading up to it,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Curtis Gray. “But Mike Rowe has made a career of stepping into unchartered waters, so I’m confident this one is going to go off quite well. But after we crown the 2009 Sprint Cup Champion, I will ask that he stick around to help sweep the grandstands.”
A national spokesman for Ford and Ford F-Series Trucks since 2007, Rowe currently can be seen in a series of online videos demonstrating the toughness of the recently launched 2011 Ford Super Duty, featuring the all-new Ford-engineered, Ford-tested and Ford-built 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbo-diesel engine. 

Rowe will be joined by another star of Hollywood on Ford 400 Sunday with Tony Award-winning actress Anika Noni Rose of Dreamgirls fame singing the national anthem.

On Sprint Cup Sunday, fans can enjoy the ultimate on-track experience: the Pre-Race Track Pass (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), which invites fans to walk the front stretch of one of the most technologically advanced racing facilities in America. Take pictures, participate in interactive displays, enjoy live entertainment and experience the thrill of NASCAR up close and personal. Pre-Race Track Pass’ers also will enjoy an exclusive look at the 2009 Sprint Cup Trophy, to be crowned smNov. 22 at THE Championship Track.

The live-band lineup on the Coca Zero Entertainment Stage will thrill music lovers of all types with Ghost of Gloria (“The Evidence”), a four-piece South Florida modern-rock band that draws its influence from the Foo Fighters, Incubus, Sevendust and Tool. Also taking the stage will be Fast Ryde, a country-music duo whose debut single "That Thang" hit the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart earlier this year.

Other action set for Ford Championship Weekend:

► A preview look at the 2010 Roush Fenway Racing Mustang NASCAR Nationwide Series car

► A Q&A session with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Reutimann

► Jet-engine dragster racer Elaine Larsen on site for an appearance with the Hell on Wheels BMX team

► Performances by the Florida Marlins Mermaids and Florida Panther Ice Dancers

All of this and see them drive for just $55! Join us at Homestead-Miami Speedway for Ford Championship Weekend 2009! Tickets for the Sprint Cup Championship start at just $55 and are available by clicking here or by calling (866) 409-RACE.

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