MSU’s Dantonio to serve as grand marshal of Quicken Loans 400
BROOKLYN — Michigan State University football coach Mark Dantonio will serve as grand marshal of the Quicken Loans 400 on June 14 at Michigan International Speedway.
Dantonio will give the command of “Start your engines!” live on Fox Sports 1 when the Quicken Loans 400 gets underway.
“I’m both thrilled and honored to have been named grand marshal of the Quicken Loans 400,” Dantonio said. “I’m looking forward to witnessing one of the premier events in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. It will be very exciting to visit Michigan International Speedway, NASCAR’s fastest track and one of racing’s top venues, and experience the race-day atmosphere. MIS is a valuable asset to the state, both in terms of providing a boost to the state’s economy as well as great media exposure.
“I’m anxious to meet and interact with the drivers as I certainly admire their skills and composure they display throughout the racing season. This opportunity will be a life moment for us that we’ll remember forever.”
Dantonio will enter his ninth season at Michigan State this year as one of the most accomplished head coaches in the school’s history, leading a program that has transformed itself into one of the nation’s perennial powers.
Under Dantonio’s direction, the Spartans have posted four 11-win seasons in the past five years, a feat accomplished by just two other coaches in Big Ten history (Fielding Yost, Michigan; Jim Tressel, Ohio State).
The Spartans also took home a Rose Bowl win in 2014 and a Cotton Bowl win in 2015.
“Coach Dantonio is a passionate, inspirational leader, and it is a tremendous honor to have him join us at the Quicken Loans 400,” said Jay Farner, President and Chief Marketing Officer for Quicken Loans. “He is used to firing up the players in the locker room, and I can’t wait to see what he does to rile up the hundred thousand –plus fans in attendance at the race.”
Dantonio has 35 years of collegiate coaching experience, including 11 as a head coach and 13 in East Lansing (served as the Spartan secondary coach from 1995-2000). The 59-year-old Dantonio boasts a 75-31 record (.708) at Michigan State since his arrival in 2007, and already ranks among MSU’s all-time leaders in career wins (second) and winning percentage (fourth).