Richard Petty Michigan Grand Marshal

NASCAR Legend Richard Petty Named DHL 400 Grand Marshal Several Drivers Will Honor Their "NASCAR Dads" With Special Paint Schemes For The DHL 400 BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty, one of racing's most famous fathers,...

NASCAR Legend Richard Petty Named DHL 400 Grand Marshal

Several Drivers Will Honor Their "NASCAR Dads" With Special Paint Schemes For The DHL 400

BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty, one of racing's most famous fathers, will be Grand Marshal and give the command to fire up the engine of son Kyle, and 42 other competitors prior to Sunday's Father's Day DHL 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at MIS.

Additionally, Ray Donahue, Vice President of Sales for DHL will be Honorary Starter and wave the green flag to start the DHL 400.

Petty returns as Grand Marshal to a track that he captured four of his 200 career victories, but more importantly two significant milestones during his illustrious career. Michigan International Speedway played host to Petty's 500th consecutive NASCAR start on August 21, 1988. Also, MIS was the site of Petty's 1000th overall NASCAR start on August 16, 1992.

Richard isn't the first Petty to act as Grand Marshal for a NASCAR race at MIS, in fact, he's the fourth, as his three daughters Sharon, Lisa and Rebecca gave the command 'Daddy, start your engine' prior to his 1000th start in 1992.

"If I am not behind the wheel, then it is an honor to celebrate Father's Day as the Grand Marshal at a track where I won four major NASCAR races," said Richard Petty. "Actually, the fact that I have the chance to enjoy the day with all of those other 'NASCAR Dads' is something I really welcome, and I thank DHL, the DHL 400 sponsor, for selecting me to serve as Grand Marshal for this special race. For my family, racing has been something that fathers and sons share. Racing feels like family, and I think that the Happy Father's Day event at Michigan International Speedway will help the fans feel that same family connection ‑ and realize how important it is."

Prior to arriving at MIS, Petty will be one of five fathers who will be honored as national father of the year at the National Father's Day Committee's 63rd annual awards on Thursday in New York City.

"Spending Father's Day at MIS watching racing families such as the Pettys has become a NASCAR tradition for so many families each June," said MIS President Brett Shelton. "It is an honor to have a racing legend like Richard Petty give the command to start engines for the DHL 400."

In addition to Petty being the Grand Marshal, several NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers will showcase special paint schemes that honor their favorite "NASCAR" Dads--their own-- during the DHL 400. Action Performance helped create the program as a vehicle for drivers to share the NASCAR experience this Father's Day and to thank "Dad" for all of his unending support in making their racing dreams come true.

Each race car will incorporate Father's Day-oriented slogans among its standard paint scheme. Each driver also will share the race day spotlight, as his father's name will be featured above the passenger-side door. Fathers who will be at MIS for the DHL 400 will be invited to the drivers' meeting as well as introduced with their sons during pre-race ceremonies.

Each driver who participates in the Father's Day program also is eligible for a $25,000 bonus. The prize will be rewarded the highest finishing driver, who will then present it to his father or Dad's favorite charitable organization.

The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers participating in the Father's Day event include:


Driver                                                Car
Dale Earnhardt Jr./Dale Earnhardt         No.  8 Budweiser Chevrolet
Kerry Earnhardt/Dale Earnhardt            No. 33 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet
Jimmie Johnson/Gary Johnson               No. 48 Lowe's® Chevrolet
Terry Labonte/Bob Labonte                 No.  5 KELLOGG'S® Chevrolet
Bobby Labonte/Bob Labonte                 No. 18 Interstate® Batteries Chevrolet
Sterling Marlin/Coo Coo Marlin            No. 40 Coors Light Dodge
Jamie McMurray/Jim McMurray               No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge
Casey Mears/Roger Mears                   No. 41 Target Dodge
Kyle Petty/Richard  Petty                 No. 45 Georgia-Pacific Dodge
Tony Stewart/Nelson Stewart               No. 20 The Home Depot Chevrolet
Brian Vickers/Clyde Vickers               No. 25 GMAC Chevrolet
Rusty Wallace/Russ Wallace                No.  2 Miller Lite Dodge
Michael Waltrip/Leroy Waltrip             No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet

Tickets are still available for Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series DHL 400 at MIS. To purchase tickets, log on to 24 hours a day seven days a week, or call the MIS ticket hotline at 1-800-354-1010. The MIS ticket hotline will be open from 9 A.M. -- 9 P.M all week.


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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Michael Waltrip , Kyle Petty , Sterling Marlin , Casey Mears , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray , Kerry Earnhardt , Richard Petty , Brian Vickers , Roger Mears , John Gary