Bengals Coach Lewis Named "Meijer 300 Presented By Oreo" Grand Marshal
Kentucky Speedway announces that Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis will serve as grand marshal of "The Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" NASCAR Busch Series event on June 19.
Lewis will preside over pre-race festivities that include a concert with country music entertainer Tracy Byrd, participate in driver introductions and deliver the "start engines" command to the 43-car field. The 300-mile race is expected to attract a fourth consecutive sellout crowd to the $152-million motorsports facility.
"I'm excited to be a part of the biggest event of the season at Kentucky Speedway. I have not personally attended a race before, so it's going to be a very interesting experience," Lewis said. "I did have the chance once to visit Joe Gibbs' race shop, and it was awesome to see the cars and everything that goes into making them. Everyone knows that NASCAR has really surged as a popular, fan-friendly sport, and it's an honor to be asked to participate."
The 45-year-old became the ninth coach in franchise history and inherited a team that posted a franchise-low 2-14 record in 2002. In his first season, he improved the team's record to 8-8 and had the Bengals in contention for their first playoff berth since 1990 entering the final week of the season.
"Coach Lewis represents a spirit of winning and 'The Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo' continues to build on a winning tradition," Meijer Director of Community and Customer Relations John Zimmerman said. "We are honored to have coach Lewis on our team and we look forward to an exciting race season."
Prior to joining the Bengals, Lewis spent six seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, where he coordinated a record-setting, Super Bowl Champion defense in 2000, and guided the league's fifth-best defense as the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins in 2002. He owns a total of 23 years of coaching experience.
"Coach Lewis received well-deserved recognition in his first season as coach of the Bengals. His dedication to excellence and strong work ethic were evident early and we will be honored to have him with us for our largest 2004 event. Our event sponsor (Meijer), the NASCAR competitors and fans will enjoy seeing Coach Lewis and introducing him to our sport," Kentucky Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark F. Cassis said.
~ Kentucky Speedway ~