Watkins Glen, NY (June 15, 2000) -- Watkins Glen International announced today that Scott Carpenter, one of the original seven Mercury Astronauts, will be the Grand Marshal for the upcoming Lysol 200 NASCAR Busch Series event. Carpenter served...
Watkins Glen, NY (June 15, 2000) -- Watkins Glen International announced today that Scott Carpenter, one of the original seven Mercury Astronauts, will be the Grand Marshal for the upcoming Lysol 200 NASCAR Busch Series event. Carpenter served as the backup pilot for John Glenn during preparation for America's first manned orbital space flight in February 1962. He will give the most famous command in motorsports on Sunday, June 25, when he says "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!"
"This will be the first time I've ever given the command to start engines at a NASCAR Busch Series event," said Carpenter. "I can hardly wait to hear the roar of the engines and witness the excitement of NASCAR racing. Giving the command to start engines will make it a emorable weekend for my entire family."
Carpenter flew the second American manned orbital flight on May 24, 1962. He piloted his Aurora 7 spacecraft through three revolutions of the earth, reaching a maximum altitude of 164 miles. The spacecraft landed in the Atlantic Ocean about 1000 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral after four hours and fifty four minutes of flight time.
"Watkins Glen is thrilled to have Scott Carpenter, an original American Hero, as Grand Marshal for the Lysol 200," said track president, Bryan Sperber. "Scott has had a lifetime full of unique experiences and I'm sure this will be another special day for he and his family."
Scott Carpenter's command will follow a National Anthem performance by Mike Farris, lead singer of the Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies. The Wheelies will bring their southern rock and blues style to The Glen for a Saturday evening performance following the Bully Hill Vineyards 150 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event on June 24.
The Nashville-based Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies have become a southern rock staple, scoring a Top 10 hit on Rock radio with "Boogie King," the first single and video off of their third album, Big Wheel. In addition to Farris, the band also includes bassist Steve Burgess, drummer Terry Thomas and guitarists Rick White and Bob Watkins.
Tickets for the Lysol 200 and the Bully Hill Vineyards 150 are still available. For ticket, reserved camping, or additional information, contact the Watkins Glen ticket office at 607-535-2481 or visit The Glen's website at www.theglen.com .