Michigan State football head coach Mel Tucker and men’s basketball head coach Tom Izzo will be co-Grand Marshals at an upcoming NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway, the raceway announced on Thursday.
The coaches will kick off the FireKeepers Casino 400, a 200-lap race in the Irish Hills of Brooklyn, Michigan. Tucker and Izzo, as co-Grand Marshals, will deliver the most famous words in motorsport, “Drivers, start your engines.”
The FireKeepers Casino 400 begins at 3 p.m. EDT on Aug. 7 and will air on USA Network.
Coach Izzo and @Coach_mtucker will serve as co-grand marshals for the @NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 on Sunday, August 7th at Michigan International Speedway— Michigan State Men's Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) July 28, 2022
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Tucker and Izzo are guests of Zeigler Auto Group, an anchor sponsor of Josh Bilicki, who drives the No. 77 Chevrolet part-time for Spire Motorsports. His car will feature a special Michigan State University paint scheme.
“I want to thank the Michigan International Speedway for the opportunity to be the co-Grand Marshal of the FireKeepers Casino 400, along with Coach Izzo,” Tucker said in a statement. “I also want to thank Aaron Zeigler and his partnership with Michigan State Athletics. He has a relentless mindset, and this is an innovative way to represent MSU. I’m looking forward to seeing the Michigan State University/Zeigler Automotive Chevrolet car in person and in front of thousands of fans at Michigan International Speedway.”
Mel Tucker just capped off Big Ten Media Days in Indianapolis as he prepares for the 2022 season of MSU football.
“I’m excited to serve as a co-Grand Marshal for the FireKeepers Casino 400 alongside my good friend and colleague Mel Tucker,” Izzo said. “Getting the chance to be a part of a NASCAR event was a thrill for me in 2010 and it was great to get the first-hand experience of seeing some of the best in their profession up close. This is a tremendous opportunity for us to represent Michigan State Athletics and our great University at a NASCAR event and in one of auto racing’s premier facilities at Michigan International Speedway. A special thank you goes to Aaron Zeigler for showing his Spartan Pride with the Michigan State University/Zeigler Automotive Chevrolet.”
The FireKeepers Casino 400 is race No. 23 on the NASCAR Cup Series calendar, and will follow the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard, which will happen this weekend. Michigan International Speedway is the fastest raceway on the NASCAR calendar, due to its high banking and lack of requirement for a restrictor plate. Corner entry speeds are often higher than 215 miles per hour.
Tickets for the race are still available on the MIS website.