MSU’s Tom Izzo and Mel Tucker Grand Marshals for NASCAR Cup Race at MIS

Brooklyn, MI — August 1, 2022

With NASCAR’s Indy race in the books, the Playoff push now focuses on the FireKeepers 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Two well-known Michigan personalities will be on hand to tip-off or kick-off, if you will, the Cup Series event at the track located in the beautiful Irish Hills region of our state.

Michigan International Speedway FireKeepers 400 / Lasco Press Photo

Michigan International Speedway today announced that Michigan State University Men’s Basketball Head Coach Tom Izzo and Football Head Coach Mel Tucker will serve as co-Grand Marshals for the NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 on August 7.

As part of their responsibilities, the Spartan coaches will give the command “Drivers, Start Your Engines” to kick off the 200-lap race, the biggest of the year at MIS. The FireKeepers Casino 400 starts at 3 p.m. ET and will air on USA, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

“We’re honored to host Tom Izzo and Mel Tucker as co-Grand Marshals for the FireKeepers Casino 400,” said Michigan International Speedway President Joe Fowler. “Their success and leadership at Michigan St have made them icons in our state and their participation in MIS pre-race activities will further elevate an already great event.”

“I’m excited to serve as a co-Grand Marshal for the FireKeepers Casino 400 alongside my good friend and colleague Mel Tucker,” Izzo said. “Getting the chance to be a part of a NASCAR event was a thrill for me in 2010 and it was great to get the first-hand experience of seeing some of the best in their profession up close.  This is a tremendous opportunity for us to represent Michigan State Athletics and our great University at a NASCAR event and in one of auto racing’s premier facilities at Michigan International Speedway.”

“I want to thank the Michigan International Speedway for the opportunity to be the co-Grand Marshal of the FireKeepers Casino 400, along with Coach Izzo,” Tucker said.

This will mark the second trip to MIS for Izzo. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer drove the pace car before the track’s Cup Series race in August 2010.

Izzo, who just concluded his 27th year, has compiled an impressive list of accomplishments, including the 2000 NCAA National Championship, 10 regular-season Big Ten Championships, six Big Ten Tournament titles, eight Final Four appearances, eight National Coach of the Year awards, and a Big Ten-record 24 straight NCAA Tournament appearances.

Tucker led the Michigan State football team to their biggest turnaround in school history in 2021, his second season with the team. The Spartans finished 11-2 with a Top 10 ranking and a win in a New Year’s Six Bowl, earning Tucker Big Ten Coach of the Year honors. He also was named a finalist for National Coach of the Year by multiple organizations.

Tickets for the Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 start at $39 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. Kids 12 and under also get a free Sunday Pre-Race Pass courtesy of Henry Ford Health. Saturday doubleheader tickets start at $35; kids 12 and under are free. Campsites are available starting at $130. Tickets are available for purchase via phone at 888-905-7223 or online at

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About Michigan International Speedway

Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan International Speedway (MIS) is one of the fastest tracks in NASCAR. The two-mile track – with 18 degrees of banking and 73-feet wide sweeping turns – has hosted the NASCAR Cup Series for more than 50 years. Beyond the on-track action, MIS offers a wide variety of family-friendly entertainment options for fans of all ages. MIS is the largest registered campground in the state of Michigan with nearly 9,000 campsites across 1,400-plus acres. In addition to the annual NASCAR weekend, MIS hosts non-racing events including Faster Horses Festival and Nite Lites. For more information, visit