Rock Legend Bret Michaels to Serve as Grand Marshal for Sprint Cup Championship Finale

Bret Michaels

Bret Michaels will serve as Grand Marshal and sing the national anthem for Sunday's Sprint Cup Championship Race

Even after spending more than 20 years in the music business, legendary rock star Bret Michaels continues to move at warp speed. The former Poison front-man-turned-reality TV star will kick into gear the headline event of NASCAR’s series-crowning Ford Championship Weekend on Sunday by serving as the Ford 400 Grand Marshal in delivering the most famous words in racing: ―Gentlemen, start your engines!

"So many of us NASCAR diehards grew up on Bret’s music," said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer. "And with the tightest points race in the history of the Chase for the Sprint Cup coming down to Sunday’s Ford 400 here in Miami, we’re going to amp up the Championship vibe with an artist who resonates with our Championship fans. Bret’s participation as Grand Marshal and national-anthem singer speaks volumes about the bright-lights stage that accompanies motorsports’ grandest Championship.

Michaels has sold 25 million records while amassing 15 chart-busting Top 40 singles, including the No. 1 smash "Every Rose Has its Thorn," "Talk Dirty to Me," "Something to Believe In," and "Nothing But a Good Time." A diabetic and longtime champion for diabetes-related research, Michaels recently raised nearly $650,000 for the American Diabetes Foundation in winning NBC TV's "Celebrity Apprentice 3" in 2010. He also starred in VH-1’s "Rock of Love with Bret Michaels" and currently stars in VH-1’s "Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It."

In addition to starting the 43-car field for the 2010 Sprint Cup Championship finale, Michaels will honor America prior to Sunday’s Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway by singing the national anthem. No stranger to NASCAR, his former band, Poison, sponsored Sprint Cup Series driver Derrike Cope in 2002.

Joining Michaels on the list of dignitaries for Ford Championship Weekend is professional wrestling star Bill Goldberg, who will serve as Honorary Race Chairman for Saturday night’s Nationwide Series Championship-finale Ford 300. A former NFL player who went on to become a wrestling megastar, Goldberg also appeared on "Celebrity Apprentice" alongside Michaels. Goldberg has been rated by Sporting News one of the 100 most powerful people in the sports industry.

"With a resume that includes NCAA football, the NFL, the wrestling ring, and Hollywood films and television, Goldberg is a Champion entertainer—and that fits right in with the entertainment that fans can expect at Ford Championship Weekend," said Becherer. "On top of that, with the on-track turmoil we’ve seen on NASCAR tracks in recent weeks, we may even suit Goldberg up as an official this weekend."

On Sunday, Homestead-Miami Speedway will host a one-race shootout to decide the closest-ever Sprint Cup Championship race in NASCAR history. Denny Hamlin enters Ford Championship Weekend (Nov. 19-21) with a 15-point lead over four-time reigning Champion Jimmie Johnson and just a 46-point margin over Kevin Harvick. Tickets for this historic Championship finale are available starting at $55 via HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com and (866) 409-RACE.

Additional dignitary assignments for NASCAR’s series-crowning Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway include Bobby Allison—Miami Beach native and 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee—and Alto Reed, legendary saxophonist and founding member of Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band.
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