IRL: Homestead: Dan Marino named Grand Marshal

Legendary Dolphins QB to give command "Lady and Gentlemen, Start Your Engines" MIAMI, FL (February 27, 2003) - Legendary Miami Dolphins Quarterback Dan Marino will serve as Grand Marshal for the Toyota Indy 300, the season-opener for the IRL ...

Legendary Dolphins QB to give command "Lady and Gentlemen, Start Your Engines"

MIAMI, FL (February 27, 2003) - Legendary Miami Dolphins Quarterback Dan Marino will serve as Grand Marshal for the Toyota Indy 300, the season-opener for the IRL IndyCar Series, set for Sunday, March 2 at 1 pm (ABC) at Homestead-Miami Speedway. As Grand Marshal, Marino will give the command "Lady and Gentlemen, Start Your Engines" prior to the running of the Toyota Indy 300.

"I'm looking forward to helping kick off the 2003 IndyCar Series at the Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway," said Marino. "It's going to be exciting to see these cars and drivers compete at speeds over 200 miles-per-hour."

The Toyota Indy 300 features the same cars and drivers that compete annually at the Indianapolis 500. Two-time Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran of Marlboro Team Penske; Michael Andretti, Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan of Andretti-Green Racing; defending Indy Racing League Champion Sam Hornish Jr.; and IRL veterans Scott Sharp and Al Unser Jr. of Kelley Racing highlight the drivers who will compete in the Toyota Indy 300.

"We're honored to have Dan Marino, one of the greatest athletes in the history of South Florida, serve as Grand Marshal for the Toyota Indy 300," said Curtis Gray, President Homestead-Miami Speedway. "Fans will have the unique opportunity this weekend to see Dan give the most famous words in all of racing - 'Lady and Gentlemen, Start Your Engines.'"

Marino was Quarterback for the Miami Dolphins for 17 consecutive seasons and holds 20 National Football League Records, including "Most Touchdown Passes, Career" (420), "Most Total Yards Passing, Career" (61,361), "Most Passes Completed, Career" (4,967), and "Most Seasons, 3,000 or More Yards Passing" (13).

Known for his lightning-quick release and fierce competitiveness on the field, Marino's fan appeal goes beyond the boundaries of football as he's appeared on the cover of Gentleman's Quarterly (GQ), in the 1994 blockbuster movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and on HBO's hit TV show ARLI$$. Since retiring in 2000, he has leveraged his sports expertise in new arenas as Director of Business Development for Dreams Inc., a sports memorabilia marketing firm and, during the season, co-hosts HBO's weekly football show Inside the NFL and serves as an in-studio host for CBS's The NFL Today.

His ongoing work for the community of South Florida is centered on The Dan Marino Foundation for Children's Charities of South Florida. For the past eleven years, the Toyota/ Dan Marino Celebrity Golf Tournament has raised over $4 million for the youth-oriented charities in that foundation. Also close to Marino's heart is the Miami Children's Hospital Dan Marino Center, an evaluation and treatment center for children with special needs. In a quest to find care for his son, who was diagnosed with autism, Marino helped create this facility for other children with developmental disabilities and chronic medical problems. Each month, it gives more than 2,500 children access to specialists from Miami Children's Hospital and, most importantly, comprehensive treatment for their special needs.

Marino shares a home in South Florida with wife Claire and their six children.

For more information or for tickets to the Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, call (305) 230-RACE; log on to homesteadmiamispeedway.com; or visit TicketMaster.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Scott Sharp , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske