GP of St. Petersburg news 2008-03-27

Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg -- Friday, April 4 through Sunday, April 6, 2008 Miss America Named Grand Marshal for Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Kirsten Haglund, Miss America 2008, will be the Grand Marshal for the 2008 Honda...

Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg -- Friday, April 4 through Sunday, April 6, 2008

Miss America Named Grand Marshal for Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Kirsten Haglund, Miss America 2008, will be the Grand Marshal for the 2008 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Haglund, 19, from Farmington Hills, Mich., attends the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and is the current National Goodwill Ambassador for the Children's Miracle Network.

As Grand Marshal of this year's event in St. Petersburg, Haglund will participate in pre-race activities prior to the start of the Honda Indy St. Pete on Sunday, April 6 and will give the famous "start your engines" command.

"We are obviously thrilled to have Kirsten be a big part of our event," said Tim Ramsberger, vice president and general manager of Andretti Green Promotions, promoters of the Honda Grand Prix. "Having an association with Miss America, one of the most iconic brands in this country, is yet another indication that our event is establishing a wider appeal locally, regionally and nationally."

Soulfound to Perform in the Honda Plaza on Saturday, April 5

Soulfound, one of the most popular Florida bands touring the country today, will perform on the XM Stage in Honda Plaza on Saturday, April 5. The concert will begin at 11 a.m. and is included in the Saturday race day ticket, which also features the second running of the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg and qualifying for the Honda Indy St. Pete.

Formed in Gainesville, Fla. in 1999, Soulfound relocated to the Tampa Bay area is 2002. They have appeared on the popular MTV show, Laguna Beach, been named one of the top three bands in the American Idol Underground Rock competition and was featured on Fuse TV's Steven's Untitled Rock Show.

Another concert, featuring national hip-hop artists Gym Class Heroes, will take the XM Stage in the Honda Plaza prior to the stat of the Honda Indy St. Pete on Sunday, April 6. The Gym Class Heroes show will start at approximately 12 Noon.

IndyCar Series Drivers to Compete in Fundraiser at Seminole Hard Rock

IndyCar Series drivers Danica Patrick, A.J. Foyt IV, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Firestone Indy Lights driver Arie Luyendyk, Jr., and racing legends Johnny Rutherford and Al Unser, Jr., are teaming up with local Cox Radio disc jockeys and Bay News 9's Virginia Johnson to raise money for their favorite charity at Seminole Hard Rock in an unprecedented event Wednesday, April 2, 2008. Among the charities scheduled to benefit from the event are the Ryan Neece Foundation, All Children's Hospital, the American Cancer Society and The Pinellas Animal Foundation. At 3:30 p.m. the professional drivers and media personalities will pair up and race custom-painted 18-inch race cars for 20 laps on the 7th floor of Seminole Hard Rock's newest South Parking Garage off N. Orient Road. Seminole Hard Rock will donate the grand prize of $5,000 to the winner's favorite charity and $1,000 to the other four charities. Ronnie Setser Customs painted the electronic race cars to reflect actual IRL race cars. Race fans will have an opportunity to meet the drivers immediately following the race from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the 7th floor of the South garage. The event is free and open to everyone.

Driver Autograph Sessions Set for Friday and Saturday Afternoons

Drivers from both the American Le Mans Series and the IndyCar Series will host autograph sessions during race weekend at this year's Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. American Le Mans Series drivers will be signing autographs on Friday, April 4, from 4:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. in the ALMS Paddock. The IndyCar Series drivers will be available for autographs from 3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, April 5 in the Bright House Networks Speed Zone.

Former Indy Racer Sam Schmidt Receives 'Intro' To Scuba Diving at The Florida Aquarium

Sam Schmidt, a former IndyCar driver that was injured in a crash on the track and paralyzed from the chest down, will 'Swim with the Fishes' at the Florida Aquarium, continuing his demonstrations on the limitless possibilities available to individuals with spinal cord injuries. Schmidt is currently the Chairman of the Board of the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation and owner of Sam Schmidt Motorsports. The event is set for 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 3 at the Coral Reef Exhibit at The Florida Aquarium in Tampa. For more information, contact Tom Wagner at 813-367-4036.

-credit: gpsp

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Series ALMS , IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Arie Luyendyk , A.J. Foyt IV , Sam Schmidt , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Danica Patrick , Johnny Rutherford , Al Unser