California Speedway names Fall race grand marshal

STEVIE WONDER TO SERVE AS GRAND MARSHAL FOR THE SHARP AQUOS 500 AT CALIFORNIA SPEEDWAY LOS ANGELES, CA -- Twenty-five time Grammy Award winner, Stevie Wonder, will serve as Grand Marshal of California Speedway's Sharp AQUOS 500 to be held...

STEVIE WONDER TO SERVE AS GRAND MARSHAL FOR THE SHARP AQUOS 500 AT CALIFORNIA SPEEDWAY

LOS ANGELES, CA -- Twenty-five time Grammy Award winner, Stevie Wonder, will serve as Grand Marshal of California Speedway's Sharp AQUOS 500 to be held on September 2, 2007, Speedway President Gillian Zucker announced today. Wonder will announce the, "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines" command to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers in front of the live audience and millions of fans watching at home on ESPN's race broadcast.

"We are absolutely thrilled to have a talent the likes of Stevie Wonder serving as our Grand Marshal," said Zucker. "Stevie is one of the most influential icons in the world of music who literally has millions of fans across the globe."

One of the most celebrated singer/songwriters of his generation, Wonder first gained national fame when, at the age of 12, and then known as "Little Stevie Wonder," his single "Fingertips (Pt. II)" topped the pop charts. Over the past four decades he has amassed an astounding 49 Top Forty singles and 32 #1 singles including "Superstition," "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life," and "Sir Duke," with worldwide sales of over 100 million units.

Stevie Wonder is an artist, songwriter and producer who, over the course of his career, has received 25 Grammy Awards, the prestigious Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and an Academy Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Songwriters' Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2004 he received Billboard Magazine's Century Award, the publication's highest award for creative achievement.

Stevie is also beloved for his compassion for humanity and his desire to challenge injustice. In 1983 Stevie spearheaded the realization of "Martin Luther King Day" as a national holiday. Stevie's passion for helping others includes his participation in the massive 1985 "We Are The World" fundraiser, numerous charitable events benefiting cancer, diabetes, and MS research, as well as being an avid supporter for those with disabilities. Stevie's Annual House Full of Toys Benefit Concert provides toys, clothing, educational products, etc., along with holiday cheer for children and families in need.

The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series returns to California Speedway over Labor Day Weekend for the Sharp AQUOS 500. For more information about the race weekend of California Speedway, please visit www.californiaspeedway.com. To purchase tickets, call 800.944-RACE or log on to www.racetickets.com. Fans are encouraged to come early to races and take advantage of all the attractions in the Opportunity, California FanZone. Opportunity, California FanZone is a multi-million dollar facility enhancement including delicious food at Apex by Wolfgang Puck, the Speedway's official retail store called Impulse, amazing sounds of live bands at the entertainment stage, and shade and leisure areas.

California Speedway is owned by International Speedway Corporation, a leading promoter of motorsports activities in the United States, currently promoting more than 100 events annually. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.iscmotorsports.com.

-credit: cs

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Series NASCAR Cup