Roger Craig always was one of the most versatile guys on the field. Apparently, he still is. Craig already has been involved in a fishing show this spring, and today Infineon Raceway announced that the former running back and three-time Super Bowl champion will serve as Grand Marshall of the Toyota/SaveMart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend in June.
“I am really looking forward to being the Grand Marshall. It is an incredible honor,” Craig said in an Infineon press release. “This will be the first NASCAR race I’ve ever attended, and I am very excited. I’ve heard so many great things about NASCAR and to be able to get to see it in person will be great.”
Craig follows in the footsteps of former 49ers great Jerry Rice, who was Grand Marshall for the 2007 race.
Craig will be honored on Friday, June 18, at the Children’s Champions Grand Marshall’s Banquet at Cline Cellars in Sonoma, a fundraiser for the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities. Two days later, Craig will launch the 350 with the classic line, “Gentlemen, start your engines.”
Knowing Craig, he will probably burst from the podium and lead the cars into Turn 1, high-stepping all the way.
“I can’t wait to see all the drivers, like Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. I hear Jeff is a 49ers fan,” Craig said in the release. “Football was pretty incredible but I’m thinking this might rank right up there as one of the coolest things I’ve done.”
Tickets for the weekend run $25 to $135 for a single day, and $99 to $180 for the weekend. Parking, as always, is free.
Gordon, Johnson and the rest of the NASCAR drivers will be pretty exhausted when the race is over. And so will the current 49ers. June 20 is the final day of their three-day minicamp.