SP Infineon Raceway names NFL's Rice grand marshal

Jerry Rice named Sonoma grand marshal NFL Legend Jerry Rice Named Grand Marshal of Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway SONOMA, Calif. (May 31, 2007) -- Jerry Rice, the greatest wide receiver in NFL history, has been named Grand Marshal of...

Jerry Rice named Sonoma grand marshal
NFL Legend Jerry Rice Named Grand Marshal of Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway

SONOMA, Calif. (May 31, 2007) -- Jerry Rice, the greatest wide receiver in NFL history, has been named Grand Marshal of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series weekend at Infineon Raceway, June 22-24.

Rice, best known as a member of the San Francisco 49ers, will be honored throughout the weekend, most notably at the Raceway Builder's Grand Marshal's Banquet on Friday night, June 22, at beautiful Cline Cellars in Sonoma. All proceeds from the banquet benefit Speedway Children's Charities.

"This will be a new experience for me and I'm really looking forward to it," Rice said. "I've never been to a NASCAR race but I understand it is quite an experience. I'm honored to be grand marshal of the race weekend and I'm looking forward to the event."

Rice won three Super Bowls while playing for the San Francisco 49ers from 1985-2000. During his stellar 21-year career, which included stints with the Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks, he basically rewrote the NFL record book for wide receivers.

Rice, who has also gained notoriety for his skills on the hit show "Dancing With the Stars," was also selected to the Pro Bowl 13 times and was recently inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.

"Jerry Rice is one of the most respected and beloved athletes in the history of Northern California sports and without question, the greatest receiver in the history of the NFL," said Steve Page, president and general manager at Infineon Raceway. "We are very excited to include Jerry in all of this year's NASCAR festivities and I know it will be a huge treat for our fans."

In addition to being honored at Friday's banquet, Rice's Grand Marshal duties will also include attending the NEXTEL Cup drivers' meeting on Sunday morning and joining the Northern California Toyota Dealers in giving the start command, "Gentleman, start your engines," prior to the start of the Toyota/Save Mart 350.

This will mark the first-ever NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race that Rice has attended.

"I understand it's a pretty big adrenaline rush watching these stock cars race around the track, and it should be even more exciting on the Infineon Raceway road course," Rice said. "It's going to be a great weekend."

-credit: spir

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Series NASCAR Cup