Aviation Legend Chuck Yeager Named Grand Marshal of IndyCar® Series Event at Infineon Raceway
SONOMA, Calif. (July 18, 2007) - Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the sound barrier, has been named Grand Marshal of the Motorola Indy 300, presented by Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel, event weekend at Infineon Raceway, Aug. 24-26.
Yeager, recognized as the most famous test pilot of all time, will be honored throughout the weekend, most notably at the 3rd annual Grand Marshal's Banquet on Saturday night, Aug. 25, at the beautiful Jacuzzi Winery in Sonoma. All proceeds from the gala will benefit the Valley of the Moon Teen Center and Hanna Boys Center in Sonoma through Speedway Children's Charities, the charitable arm of Infineon Raceway.
"My foundation, the General Chuck Yeager Foundation, supports programs that promote integrity, duty, service, excellence and intellectual curiosity especially aimed at kids, so this is a good fit for us," said Yeager.
In addition to his accomplishments as a test pilot, Yeager has also been recognized for his accomplishments during World War II. Yeager was shot down over occupied France during the war, but successfully evaded capture and crossed into neutral Spain before returning to his squadron in England. He flew 64 combat missions in World War II. By war's end he had downed 13 enemy aircraft, including five in a single day.
After the war, Yeager continued to break speed records, including setting a new air speed record of 1,650 mph, more than twice the speed of sound, in 1953. He also served in Vietnam, and helped train the first generation of U.S. astronauts. In 1976, Yeager was awarded a Special Congressional Silver Medal, presented to him by President Gerald Ford. President Ronald Reagan honored him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985. These are the highest honors the nation bestows for outstanding service or achievement.
"This is a weekend when we celebrate the heroes of American speed and who better to serve as Grand Marshal than the man who embodies those themes at the ultimate level," said Steve Page, president and general manager of Infineon Raceway. "We are very excited to welcome General Yeager as part of our IndyCar weekend."
In addition to being honored at Saturday's banquet, Yeager's Grand Marshal duties will include joining a Motorola representative in giving the start command, "Gentlemen and ladies, start your engines," prior to the start of the Motorola Indy 300.
The best-selling non-fiction book by Tom Wolfe and the hit movie "The Right Stuff," as well as his own best-selling autobiography, "Yeager," helped to make him a household name. For more information on Yeager and the General Chuck Yeager Foundation, please visit www.chuckyeager.com.
To reserve a seat or table at the Grand Marshal's Banquet during IndyCar Series weekend, contact Denise Silver at email@example.com or 707-933-3950. Individual tickets for the evening, which includes a cocktail reception, dinner and program, are $200. There are also tables of 10 available for $2,000.