Kanaan Named “Great Grove Bed Race” Grand Marshal

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This hilarious community event will benefit the University of Miami Sleep Program and Alonzo Mourning Charities

He is the first and only driver ever to complete every lap of every race en route to being crowned IndyCar Series Champion. And on Sept. 5 in Coconut Grove, Tony Kanaan again steps into the on-track spotlight—this time as Grand Marshal of the 2010 Great Grove Bed Race.

The Miami resident and accomplished tri-athlete will race on his “home track” of Homestead-Miami Speedway Oct. 1-2 during the NextEra Indy Championships. But he’ll first lend his racing expertise to the revival of a three-decade-old tradition renewed as The Great Grove Bed Race.

“I’ve raced IndyCar, I’ve raced go-karts and I’ve raced to bed—but I’ve never raced a bed,” said Kanaan. “Why do I feel like I’m going to be a part of these races and then feel safer driving an IndyCar at 230 miles per hour? Coconut Grove will be the place to be Labor Day Weekend.”

Grove residents, merchants and community groups all are ready to start their engines—or tie their shoelaces—and take part in a hilarious community event to benefit the University of Miami Sleep Program and Alonzo Mourning Charities. While speed earns the ultimate checkered flag, awards also will be provided for theme, creativity and décor, with Kanaan, District 2 Commissioner Marc Sarnoff and Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer serving as judges.

“Between the IndyCar and NASCAR Championship Weekends, I knew we were crowning five Champions at Homestead-Miami Speedway this fall,” said Becherer. “What I didn’t know was that we’d be a part of a sixth—and that it would involve a wayward mattress.”

The Pajama Pub Crawl sets the Bed Race pace on Saturday, Sept. 4, with visits to nine Coconut Grove taverns. Miller Lite and Gold Coast Distributors will provide a complimentary beer along the way, and designated drivers will be rewarded with a free-coffee pit stop at The Bookstore in the Grove. Sunday pre-race highlights include the Tricycle Obstacle Course; a Family Pajama Party at The Bookstore; the Pit Row Parade of decorated beds; and live musical entertainment.

With Bed Race Weekend set for Sept. 4-5, competing teams are invited to test run THIS Friday, Aug. 27, at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Held during the track’s “Speedway T-n-T” 1/8-mile car competition that takes place every Friday night, bed racers will be invited to Pit Road during a break in the automotive action to answer these questions: Will the wheels fall off? Will it really drive straight? Am I even capable of sprinting 1/8th of a mile? Great Grove Bed racers are urged to get these answers before being judged by IndyCar Champion Kanaan Sept. 5. (It should be noted that the 2009 Bed Race winner did demo at Homestead-Miami Speedway in advance.)

“There’s a reason I call South Florida home, and this is a prime example of it: I love the giving spirit of the people who live here and the outdoor nature of the festivities,” said Kanaan, who recorded his first IndyCar Series pole position at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2003. “I’m also up for any opportunity to be a part of some additional competition before revving up for IndyCar Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway in October.”

“We’re lucky to have Tony here in South Florida,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Becherer. “He has contributed so much to the success of the IndyCar Series, and his involvement with the Bed Race shows his commitment to the local community. I just hope he's not expecting the same speeds when he's back at our place for IndyCar Championship Weekend Oct. 1-2….”

Kids FREE: Homestead-Miami Speedway is the only venue ever to host all of North America’s premier motorsports Championships, and we’re doing it again in 2010 in hosting both the NextEra Energy Indy Championships (Oct. 1-2) and NASCAR’s Ford Championship Weekend (Nov. 19-21). Kids 12 & under are FREE to three of the five Championship finales, and the best seats to see the Champions crowned are ON SALE NOW. For more information, visit THEChampionshipTrack.com or call (866) 409-RACE.

The 411-PAIN Great Grove Bed Race is produced by the Grove Merchant Group and proceeds benefit the University of Miami Sleep Program and Alonzo Mourning Foundation Charities. The Grove Merchant Group welcomes visitors and patrons to enjoy the tree-lined streets of Coconut Grove while branding the neighborhood as an attractive and viable village.
For additional information visit, www.TheGreatGroveBedRace.com

  • Baptist Health
  • Budweiser
  • Coca-Cola
  • Contender
  • Courtyard Marriott
  • EPIC Hotel
  • Florida Lottery
  • Floridian Logo
  • Ford
  • Gatorade
  • GEICO
  • GEN Travel Solutions
  • Goodyear
  • Hampton Inn and Suites
  • Miller Industries
  • New Holland
  • NextEra
  • Quality Inn
  • Safety Kleen
  • Smokin J's
  • Sprint
  • Sunoco
  • Ticket clinic
  • Tobacco Free Florida
  • Visit Florida
  • We Can Do Print

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