ST. PETERSBURG, FL, March 11, 2013 – The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg has named U.S. Army Specialist and St. Petersburg resident Charlie Lemon as the Grand Marshal of its season-opening IZOD IndyCar Series race, taking place March 22-24. SPC Lemon is a double-amputee combat veteran and local ambassador for Wish for Our Heroes, a national charity focused on assisting military members faced with hardship.

SPC Lemon will perform the standard Grand Marshal duties, which will include giving the famous “drivers, start your engines” command to start the race.

Susie Wheldon, wife of the late IZOD IndyCar Series driver Dan Wheldon, will wave the green flag and participate in the pre-race ceremonies of the ninth edition of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

“We are honored to have Charlie and Susie take part in the festivities during our event,” said Tim Ramsberger, President of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. “The 2013 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is shaping up to be a tremendous weekend of entertainment and special moments. We look forward to welcoming Charlie, Susie, our fans and supporters to downtown St. Petersburg for another exciting and memorable race weekend.”

Season 11 American Idol contestant Shannon Magrane and local Paralympic sailor Jen French will also be part of the event. Magrane, a Tampa native, will sing the national anthem during pre-race ceremonies. She is a singer/songwriter and the daughter of former St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Joe Magrane. French, a St. Petersburg resident, silver medalist from the London 2012 Paralympic Games and 2012 US Sailing Yachts Women of the Year, will ride in the IndyCar two-seater, known as the “fastest seat in sports”, to pace Sunday’s IZOD IndyCar Series race. Magrane and French will both attend the Greenflag VIP Luncheon, taking place Thursday of race week at the Vinoy Golf Club.

Tickets to the 2013 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, March 22-24, are available now at GPSTPETE.com or by phone at 1-877-283-5385.

To learn more about the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, visit gpstpete.com. ‘Like’ us on Facebook at facebook.com/GPSTPETE, follow us on Twitter via @GPSTPETE and subscribe to us on UNATION at unation.com/GPSTPETE.

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More Information:

Kathleen Stelmach
(416) 341-9929 ext. 227 (office) / (727) 698-9520 (cell)

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