Homestead-Miami Speedway names Aldrin Honorary Chairman

Putting the NASA in NASCAR: Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin to Help Pace Sprint Cup Championship Field in 1969 Mustang Homestead-Miami Speedway to celebrate 40th anniversary of moon landing starting Thursday at RaceFest and throughout Ford Championship...

Putting the NASA in NASCAR: Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin to Help Pace Sprint Cup Championship Field in 1969 Mustang

Homestead-Miami Speedway to celebrate 40th anniversary of moon landing starting Thursday at RaceFest and throughout Ford Championship Weekend MIAMI--What was once thought impossible came true 40 years ago when the world witnessed the first ever moon landing. Homestead-Miami Speedway will celebrate the 40-year anniversary of this incredible accomplishment by honoring the "best of the best"--the NASA Apollo astronauts--during NASCAR's Ford Championship Weekend (Nov.20-22). Legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin will headline pre-race ceremonies as Honorary Race Chairman for Sunday's Sprint Cup Ford 400.

As one of the world's most recognizable astronauts--the second human to step foot on the moon-- Aldrin will be honored on-stage during pre-race festivities before getting into a 1969 Ford Mustang to lead the pace car and race field. For great seats and hospitality options for Ford Championship Weekend, call (866) 409-RACE or visit THEChampionshipTrack.com.

"In this 40th-year celebration of man walking on the moon, what an honor to have Buzz Aldrin circle THE Championship Track in a 1969 Ford Mustang," said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Curtis Gray. "Buzz is an American hero, and his presence at Homestead-Miami will serve as a deserving tribute to the history he and NASA made 40 years ago this year."

Festivities begin at Coke Zero RaceFest this Thursday evening, as the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and NASA will bring the moon to the fans with a special interactive display celebrating the 40th anniversary of the moon landing--including an opportunity to touch an actual moon rock and meet veteran space shuttle astronaut Jon McBride, pilot for STS-41G aboard the Orbiter Challenger.

On July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 launched from Florida's Kennedy Space Center carrying Mission Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Aldrin. Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to land on the moon on July 20, fulfilling President John F. Kennedy's goal of reaching the moon by the end of the 1960s. Indeed, Aldrin was one of the pioneering astronauts who paved the way for lunar exploration and made history.

Via his NASA history, Aldrin also inspired the film and music industries: The MTV "Moonman" award--presented annually at the Video Music Awards to the industry's top performers--is modeled after an image of Aldrin planting a flag on the moon in 1969; and lead-character Buzz Lightyear of Pixar Studio's "Toy Story" (1995) was named after the NASA legend.

To learn more NASA and the 40th Anniversary of Apollo visit: www.nasa.gov. To arrange for a tour of Kennedy Space Center visit: www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

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; and NASCAR's Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series during Ford Championship Weekend Nov.20-22. Great seats for all 2009 Championships are available now by calling (866) 409-RACE or visiting THEChampionshipTrack.com.

-credit: hms

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup