World Boxing Council heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder -- a native of Tuscaloosa, Ala. -- will be the grand marshal of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 26 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.
In January, Wilder became the first U.S. boxer to hold the WBC world heavyweight boxing title since 2006. Nicknamed "The Bronze Bomber," the 6-foot-7 Wilder is 33-0 with 32 knockouts. Muhammad Ali is also among the boxers to have won the WBC title.
“We are honored to have an Alabama native and a world champion as our grand marshal,” said George Dennis, president of ZOOM Motorsports, the exclusive event promoter of Barber Motorsports Park. “Ironically, our defending race champion, Ryan Hunter-Reay, was also the first American to win the Indy 500 since 2006. Deontay’s energy and presence will add to the fun-filled weekend, and we’re excited for what is shaping up to be the best Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama yet.”
Wilder’s duties as grand marshal of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will include announcing the widely recognized command, “Gentlemen, start your engines.”
“I have an appreciation for hard work and competitiveness, so it will be fun to see the fastest drivers in the world compete for the title of Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama champion," Wilder said. "It’s a true honor to serve as grand marshal, and I hope all the fans come out for the exciting weekend of racing action.”
General admission and ticket packages for the sixth annual event are available at www.barbermotorsports.com. Children 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult.
Track build starts for Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
Construction is underway of the street circuit for the 41st Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 17-19.
Grand Prix Association of Long Beach director of operations Dwight Tanaka and his staff will put in more than 30,000 working hours installing the 14 million pounds of concrete blocks, four miles of fencing and 16,000 bolted-together tires, along with 16 grandstands, seven pedestrian bridges and seven giant vision boards for full-circuit TV coverage.
Ticket orders can be placed by calling (888) 827-7333 and by visiting www.gplb.com.
Hunter-Reay plans The Yellow Party at three venues
Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay will host three fund-raising events during the Verizon IndyCar Series season to benefit and his charity, Racing for Cancer.
The Yellow Party will be held March 27 in conjunction with the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, May 21 in Indianapolis and Aug. 28 in Napa, Calif., in conjunction with The Michael Andretti Foundation event preceding the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. For information and tickets, visit TheYellowParty.org.