Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Sinise Named Martinsville Grand Marshall

Award-winning actor Gary Sinise will serve as the Grand Marshal of next month’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway, with local hero and wounded veteran Marine Cpl. Josh “J.B.” Kerns waving the green flag to start the 500-lap April 1 event.

Currently starring on CBS TV’s “CSI:NY,” Sinise launched the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2011; a non-profit organization that honors defenders, veterans, first responders and their families by creating and supporting programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities.

Recently, the Gary Sinise Foundation and The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation announced a partnership to build Kerns a “smart home” in his hometown of Ararat, Va., as part of the Building For America's Bravest Program. Throughout the Goody's Fast Relief 500 weekend, efforts will be made to raise both funds and awareness, including a concert with Sinise's Lt. Dan Band at Martinsville High School on March 31. To make donations to Building For America's Bravest Program, you can go to www.garysinisefoundation.org.

The Goody’s Fast Relief 500 will be Sinise’s first time reciting the most famous words in motorsports -- “Gentlemen, Start Your Engines” – and he said, “The Goody’s Fast Relief 500 weekend is going to be an unforgettable weekend, bringing together the best racing in the world with an amazing effort to help J.B. I am so grateful to Goody’s, Martinsville Speedway and the community for allowing us to be a part of this weekend.”

Kerns, a long-time NASCAR fan, will serve as honorary starter. He was injured in Afghanistan in April of 2011 when an IED exploded, costing him both legs and his right arm. Since then, Kerns has endured tremendous pain, having undergone extensive surgeries and a strenuous regimen of daily physical and occupational therapy in Bethesda, Md.

“When I was growing up, I remember sitting with my family on weekends and watching NASCAR races,” said Kerns. “Now, it’s awesome to think that I am going to be the one waving the flag to start the race.”

Tickets to the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway are now on sale. For more information, call 877.722.3849 or visit www.martinsvillespeedway.com.


  1. captneilf1:02 PM

    Very nice. Good choice.

    I hope NASCAR as the years go by NEVER stops having the Prayer and National Anthem removed from the telecast. Many sports today do not show the National Anthem and most do not have a Prayer/Invocation.

    Our American Heritage is steeped in prayer.

    These make NASCAR special! Keep it up.

    The flyby is also special.

  2. Anonymous3:12 PM

    Great choice. Gary Sinise is doing a great job helping these veterans. He just did a benefit concert on Thursday night for one here in Temecula, CA. They are also building a smart house for this triple amputee veteran.