ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tony Dungy, the Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach who currently serves as an analyst on NBC’s Football Night in America, will serve as the grand marshal of this weekend’s 15th annual Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
On Sunday), Dungy will give the command for Indy car drivers to start their engines, effectively kicking off the 17-race NTT IndyCar Series season, from the passenger seat in a Honda-powered two-seat Indy car. Once Dungy gives the command, he’ll lead the parade lap ahead of the rest of the field in the Honda Indy car, driven by racing legend Mario Andretti.
As a former head coach for both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts, Dungy has many connections to Sunday’s race.
“I am honored to kick off the 2019 NTT IndyCar season by serving as the grand marshal of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg inaugural race, and leading the field to the green flag in Honda’s Fastest Seat in Sports,” said Dungy, a Tampa, Fla., resident. “After Sunday’s race, I am looking forward to watching NBC Sports’ coverage this season, but especially the legendary Indianapolis 500, coming to us from my second home, Indianapolis, Indiana.”
Dungy, a two-time Super Bowl champion, became the first African-American head coach to win the Super Bowl when the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI. His teams made the playoffs each of his last 10 seasons before retiring from the NFL in 2008 – seven times with the Indianapolis Colts and three times as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Dungy was a defensive back for the Pittsburgh Steelers when they won Super Bowl XIII. He continues to be one of the most influential voices in football today, in part due to his role as an analyst on NBC’s Football Night in America, which he joined in 2009. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.
“It’s a great privilege to have Tony Dungy join us and be honored as the grand marshal of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg,” said Kim Green, co-owner, chairman and CEO of Green Savoree Racing Promotions, organizers of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. “Coach Dungy will no doubt receive a great reception from the fans attending from across the country and especially from the Tampa Bay area. He’s not only a highly regarded football analyst, but his continuous commitment to community service, particularly creating and supporting programs for children, is spectacular.”