Former Miami University Redhawk quarterback and 2004 National Football League Offensive Rookie of the Year Ben Roethlisberger will be grand marshal of the NASCAR Busch Series "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" on June 18 at Kentucky Speedway.

The 2004 first round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers will give the 43-driver field the command to start their engines in front of an expected sellout crowd of more than 70,000 at the 66,089-seat speedway. Race time is 8:00 p.m.

Roethlisberger became the first quarterback in NFL history to post a 13-0 regular-season record. He connected on 196 of his 295 passing attempts to set new NFL rookie and Steelers records for completion percentage at 66.4 and passer rating at 98.1. The 23-year-old passed for a total 2,621 yards and 17 touchdowns while leading the Steelers to a 16-2 overall record, an AFC North Division title and an appearance in the AFC Championship game.

"Ben is a great addition to our largest event of the summer," Kentucky Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark F. Cassis said. "We will be honored to welcome him to our speedway and I know our fans will enjoy celebrating his record-setting season."

The second of five event weekends at the speedway also will feature a prerace concert with renowned country music artist Travis Tritt and a high-profile race field that will include NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne and Michael Waltrip. The weekend opens June 17 with the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division Southeast Series "Insight Communications 150" race.

"The top names in NASCAR racing, superstar Travis Tritt in concert, Ben Roethlisberger and an expected capacity crowd will combine to create a great value for our fans and establish 'The Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo' the spectator event of the summer in the tri-state," Cassis said.

Kentucky Speedway will open its season on May 14 with the ARCA RE/MAX Series "Harley-Davidson of Cincinnati 150."

Season and single event race tickets are on sale now and can be reserved by phone at 888-652-RACE (7223), online at http://www.kentuckyspeedway.com and http://www.tickets.com, through Tickets.com outlets including Meijer stores and at Kentucky Speedway ticket offices at 2216 Dixie Hwy., Ste. 200, in Ft. Mitchell, Ky., and the speedway Fan Center outside the track in Sparta, Ky.

~ Kentucky Speedway ~