Dungy Will Give the Command for Drivers to Start their Engines and Lead the Parade Lap
as a Passenger in a Two-seat Indy car Known as Honda’s Fastest Seat in Sports
ST PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 4, 2019) – Tony Dungy, the Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach who currrently serves as an analyst on NBC’s “Football Night in America,” will serve as the grand marshal of this weekend’s 15th annual Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the inaugural race of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series.
On Sunday (March 10), Dungy will give the command for Indy car drivers to start their engines, effectively kicking off the 17-race NTT IndyCar Series season, from the passenger seat in a Honda-powered two-seat Indy car known as “Honda’s Fastest Seat in Sports.” Once Dungy gives the command, he’ll lead the parade lap ahead of the rest of the field in the Honda Indy car, driven by racing legend Mario Andretti.
As a former head coach for both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts, Dungy has many connections to Sunday’s race.
“I am honored to kick off the 2019 NTT IndyCar season by serving as the grand marshal of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg inaugural race, and leading the field to the green flag in Honda’s Fastest Seat in Sports,” said Dungy, a Tampa, Fla., resident. “After Sunday’s race, I am looking forward to watching NBC Sports’ coverage this season, but especially the legendary Indianapolis 500, coming to us from my second home, Indianapolis, Indiana.”
Dungy, a two-time Super Bowl champion, became the first African-American head coach to win the Super Bowl when the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI. His teams made the playoffs each of his last 10 seasons before retiring from the NFL in 2008 – seven times with the Indianapolis Colts and three times as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Dungy was a defensive back for the Pittsburgh Steelers when they won Super Bowl XIII. He continues to be one of the most influential voices in football today, in part due to his role as an analyst on NBC’s “Football Night in America,” which he joined in 2009. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.
"It’s a great privilege to have Tony Dungy join us and be honored as the grand marshal of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg," said Kim Green, co-owner, chairman and CEO of Green Savoree Racing Promotions, organizers of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. "Coach Dungy will no doubt receive a great reception from the fans attending from across the country and especially from the Tampa Bay area. He’s not only a highly regarded football analyst, but his continuous commitment to community service, particularly creating and supporting programs for children, is spectacular."
Tickets to the 2019 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg are on sale now at gpstpete.com or by phone at 888-476-4479. Fans can watch the race on NBCSN starting with coverage beginning at 12:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, March 10. Registrations are open for the 7th Annual Modern Business Associates 5K Run on the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Track benefiting the Police Athletic League set for March 8, 2019, at gpstpete5k.com.
TONY DUNGY NAMED GRAND MARSHAL
ABOUT FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG
The 15th annual Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is a race event held during Florida’s spring break season each March. As the NTT IndyCar Series’ season-opening race for the ninth consecutive year, St. Pete is a destination city hosting this annual motorsports tradition and offering a festival atmosphere with its downtown location. The temporary circuit is a 1.8-mile, 14-turn configuration using the streets circling Pioneer Park, the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, The Dali Museum and extending onto the runways at Albert Whitted Airport, which overlooks the waterfront of Tampa Bay and picturesque St. Petersburg Harbor and Marina. Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is owned and operated by Green Savoree Racing Promotions, which also promotes three additional IndyCar races, Honda Indy Toronto (July 12-14, 2019), The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (July 26-28, 2019) and Grand Prix of Portland (August 30-September 1, 2019).
For more information, visit gpstpete.com, ‘like’ its Facebook page at @GPSTPETE or follow the event on Twitter @GPSTPETE and Instagram @GPSTPETE using #FirestoneGP.
INDYCAR is the governing body of: the NTT IndyCar Series, the premier open-wheel racing series in North America. INDYCAR events are available to a worldwide audience through a variety of multimedia platforms, highlighted by a broad-reaching partnership with NBC Sports Group. INDYCAR is continually at the forefront of motorsports innovation with drivers, teams and tracks benefiting from safety and technological improvements such as the SAFER Barrier, SWEMS wheel and chassis component tethers, chassis enhancements, advanced aerodynamic bodywork kits, high-definition in-car cameras and E85 ethanol fuel.