Legendary open-wheel racer Dario Franchitti, who won three Indianapolis 500s as well as the 2008 Rolex 24 At Daytona, will serve as Grand Marshal for the 55th Rolex 24 At Daytona IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Jan. 28-29 at Daytona International Speedway.
Franchitti will deliver the command “Drivers, start your engines” for North America’s most prestigious sports car event.
“We’re honored to have Dario Franchitti serve as the Grand Marshal for the 2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona,” Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile said. “Dario has had a decorated career in open-wheel racing and conquered sports car racing’s grueling twice-around-the-clock challenge in 2008. Fans and competitors are looking forward to his starting command as we kick off Speedweeks 2017.”
A native of Scotland, Franchitti captured four IndyCar Series championships (2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011) as well as three Indianapolis 500s (2007, 2010 and 2012). Overall, Franchitti has 265 starts in IndyCar racing with 31 wins and 33 poles.
In the 2008 Rolex 24, Franchitti and co-drivers Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Juan Pablo Montoya captured the overall victory by a margin of two laps driving for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Franchitti also has a class win in the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Franchitti retired from competition in 2013 but is still active in the sport, serving as a team advisor for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.
Tickets and camping packages for the 55th Rolex 24 At Daytona IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Jan. 28-29 at Daytona International Speedway are on sale by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.
About Daytona International Speedway
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Daytona International Speedway recently completed a $400 million frontstretch renovation project that transformed the “World Center of Racing” into the world’s only motorsports stadium. Improvements included wider, more comfortable seats, five expanded and redesigned entrances, 40 escalators and upgraded amenities throughout the 11 football-field size neighborhoods. The new stadium was awarded the SportsBusiness Journal’s prestigious Sports Business Award for Sports Facility of the Year. Daytona International Speedway is the home of "The Great American Race" - the DAYTONA 500. Though the season-opening NASCAR Sprint Cup event garners most of the attention - as well as the largest audience in motorsports - the approximately 500-acre motorsports complex boasts the most diverse schedule of racing on the globe. New to the calendar for 2016 are the Country 500 music festival on Memorial Day Weekend and the Ferrari World Finals on Dec. 1-4. In addition to at least eight major weekends of racing activity, rarely a week goes by that the Speedway grounds are not used for events that include civic and social gatherings, car shows, photo shoots, production vehicle testing and police motorcycle training.
Rolex, the leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, is headquartered in Geneva and enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its Oyster watches, all certified as Superlative Chronometers for their precision, performance and reliability, are symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. Founded by Hans Wilsdorf in 1905, the brand pioneered the development of the wristwatch and is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism invented in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces all the essential components of its watches in-house, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports, exploration, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities as well as philanthropic programs.