The NASCAR Cup Series Dixie Vodka 400 this Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway (FOX and FOX Deportes, 3:30 p.m.) will be the first pro sporting event to return with guests, as the track will host up to 1,000 South Florida service members. That esteemed group will be treated to hearing the most famous word in motorsports recited by a South Florida coaching legend.
Jimmy Johnson, a longtime FOX NFL Sunday analyst who will be a member of the 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the June 14 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway – virtually. As Grand Marshal, Johnson will deliver the most famous words in all of motorsports, “Drivers, start your engines!” via video on FOX and FOX Deportes just before the green flag waves for the Dixie Vodka 400.
Johnson coached both the University of Miami Hurricanes and the Miami Dolphins during his career. While at the University of Miami, he led the team to a 52-9 record, including a 12-0 mark in 1987 when the school won the national championship.
Johnson also served as the head coach for Oklahoma State University and the Dallas Cowboys, where he won two Super Bowls (XXVII, XXVIII). Johnson, who makes his home in South Florida, now serves as a studio analyst on FOX NFL Sunday, the No. 1 NFL pregame show for 25 years.
“As someone who lives in South Florida, I’m excited to be a part of one of the biggest events in the area,” said Johnson. “I’ve given many locker room speeches and seen many spectacular sports moments, but I can’t wait to add the distinction of reciting the most famous words in all of motorsports.”
“Having a celebrity such as Jimmy Johnson participate in the Dixie Vodka 400 is what hosting a NASCAR race is all about,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Al Garcia. “We are honored that Homestead-Miami Speedway has a chance to play a key part in the return of professional sports in South Florida, as we commemorate our 25th anniversary. With Coach Johnson giving the command on this special day, it clearly speaks to the rich sports tradition that exists in Miami.”
About Homestead-Miami Speedway
Homestead-Miami Speedway has been open since 1995 following an initiative to spur economic recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. The Speedway, which was founded by Miami businessman, racing enthusiast and philanthropist Ralph Sanchez, is a 650-acre facility that features a 1.5-mile oval and 2.21-mile road course. The Speedway hosts on-track events nearly 300 days per year and generates more than $301 million annually for the region. In 2019, NASCAR crowned champions in all three of its national series at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend for the 18th consecutive year (2002-19). Champions crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2019 were Kyle Busch (NASCAR Cup Series), Tyler Reddick (NASCAR Xfinity Series) and Matt Crafton (NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series). In 2020, Homestead-Miami Speedway commemorates its 25th anniversary in 2020, as it hosts four NASCAR races over two days – June 13-14 – capped by the running of the NASCAR Cup Series Dixie Vodka 400 on Sunday, June 14.