Annika Sorenstam

Annika Sorenstam, one of the greatest female golfers of all time, and multiplatinum entertainer and TV/film actor Trace Adkins each will participate in key roles on the pre-race grid of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding on Sunday, March 5 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Trace AdkinsAdkins will perform the national anthem as two F-16 Fighting Falcons from Homestead Air Reserve Base fly over the track and the color guard from American Legion Post 273 Madeira Beach presents the flags. Sorenstam, an Orlando, Florida, resident, will serve as the grand marshal and give the command for drivers to start their engines before the season-opening NTT INDYCAR SERIES race on the downtown streets of St. Petersburg. Coverage of the race will be available at noon ET on NBC, Peacock and the INDYCAR Radio Network.

During her 15-year Hall of Fame career, Sorenstam collected over 90 worldwide wins, including 72 on the LPGA tour and 10 major championships. She also won a record eight Rolex Player of the Year awards and is still the LPGA’s all-time money leader with over $22 million in earnings. Sorenstam remains closely connected to the greater Tampa Bay area as the host of the penultimate LPGA event of the season, The ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge at Pelican, held at Pelican Golf Club in November.

“I’m excited to be the grand marshal of the first INDYCAR race of the year in St. Petersburg to help kick off both the racing season and Women’s History Month,” Sorenstam said. “For my entire life, golf has been a vehicle that’s helped shape me on and off the course. I can’t wait to see the cars speed around a different type of course through downtown St. Pete!”

Adkins has sold over 11 million albums, charted 40 singles on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart, and earned numerous awards and multiple Grammy nominations. His songs have been streamed over 2 billion times since his debut in 1996. A Grand Ole Opry member for nearly two decades, Adkins also known for notable roles as an actor in film and television, including voice-overs for Firestone commercials. Adkins recently set out for his headline “Somewhere in America 2023 Tour,” which spans coast-to-coast throughout this year.

“It is always a distinct honor to perform our national anthem at any event, but it’s an extra thrill to kick off the start of the Firestone Grand Prix,” Adkins said. “As a longtime auto racing fan, I look forward to attending the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.”

Tickets are still available for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding at