Castroneves Joins Mayor Diaz to announce the Grand Marshal of "Bed Races"


Bed Races (Sept. 6th) and IndyCar Championship (Oct. 10): Three-Time Indy 500 Champion Helio Castroneves and Miami Mayor Manny Diaz at the Mayfair Hotel in Coconut Grove


He’s been to Victory Lane at the Indy 500 three times, and he’s been crowned Champion of ABC’s television hit “Dancing with the Stars.” And on Sept. 6 in Coconut Grove, Helio Castroneves again will step into the competition spotlight, this time as Grand Marshal of the Great Grove Bed Race.

The Miami resident will lend his magnetic personality and comedic wit—perhaps even some racing tips—to the revival of a tradition that dates back 31 years later is renewed as THE GREAT GROVE BED RACE.

“I’ve competed in a lot of different cars in my time, but I’ve certainly never raced a bed,” said Castroneves. “This is going to be an amazing event, and I’m really excited to be a part of it—Coconut Grove definitely will be the place to be Labor Day Weekend. And on top of my Grand Marshall duties, this gives me an extra opportunity to be around some racing in my own backyard before IndyCar Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Oct. 10.”

Grove merchants, local corporations and local dog-park groupies are all ready to start their engines—or rather, tie their shoelaces—and take part in a hilarious community event that will benefit the University of Miami Sleep Program and Alonzo Mourning Charities. Speed earns the ultimate checkered flag, but awards also will doled out for theme, creativity and décor, with Castroneves serving as a celebrity judge.

“It is an inspiration when Miamians like Helio Castroneves and Alonzo Mourning give back to their communities through events such as the Great Grove Bed Race,” said Mayor Manny Diaz. “It is a great tradition that I look forward to reviving.”

The Pajama Pub Crawl sets the pace Saturday night, Sept. 5, with visits to nine participating Coconut Grove Pubs.  NewCastle Brown Ale will provide a free beer along the way, and Designated Drivers will be rewarded with a Pit Stop for free coffee at The Bookstore in the Grove. Sunday highlights include the Waiters/Waitresses Obstacle course; a Family Pajama Party and story time at The Bookstore; the Pit Row Parade of decorated beds on display; and live music.

“The Great Grove Bed Race has a long, rich tradition in South Florida,” said District 2 Commissioner Marc Sarnoff. “This year’s event will be one of the most memorable with the addition of Helio Castroneves.”

Castroneves, who won the Indy 500 in May for a third time, makes his return to a more traditional track Oct. 10 for the NextEra Energy Resources SPEEDJAMsm Championships at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He looks to become the first local South Florida IndyCar driver to win on his “home track.”

“Helio has contributed so much to the success of the IndyCar Series in recent years, and his involvement with the Bed Race shows his commitment to the South Florida community,” said Curtis Gray, Homestead-Miami Speedway president. “Let’s just not wear him out for IndyCar Championship Weekend on Oct. 10.”

It’s motorsports history in 2009 as Homestead-Miami Speedway becomes the first venue ever to host
all of North America’s premier motorsports championships: the IndyCar, Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car and Firestone Indy Lights Series during the NextEra Energy Resources SPEEDJAMsm Championships
Oct. 9-10; and NASCAR’s Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series during
Ford Championship Weekend Nov. 20-22. Tickets for all six 2009 championships are on sale now
by calling (866) 409-RACE or visiting

The Grove Merchant Group, organizers of the Great Grove Bed Race, invite visitors and patrons to enjoy the tree-lined streets of Coconut Grove while branding the neighborhood as an attractive and viable village. A culture of interaction, innovation and creativity shift the community of Coconut Grove into a collaboration of community leaders.

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