Blake Shelton Serving as the Grand Marshal at the Indy 500

by TK Sanders

Country music singer and The Voice star Blake Shelton will serve as the grand marshal for Sunday’s Indy 500. As part of his responsibilities, Shelton will give the coveted pre-race direction for drivers to report to their cars during opening ceremonies.

Shelton also collaborated with Indy 500 rookie (and NASCAR legend) Jimmie Johnson on his helmet for the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. IMS President Doug Boles said Shelton is a perfect fit for the job, given his stature in entertainment and many connections to racing.

“Blake is a country music powerhouse and good friend of motorsports fans everywhere,” Boles said. “For both spectators at the track and everyone watching on NBC, his winning energy will be a perfect fit for the intensity of ‘The Greatest Spectacle of Racing.’”

According to the AP, WWE global ambassador Titus O’Neil will serve as grand marshal of the Indy 500 Snake Pit. The Snake Pit is a traditional party zone in the track’s infield. O’Neil will keep the party rowdy from the Snake Pit stage before the race officially begins, too.

Top Gun: Maverick actor and racing enthusiast Miles Teller will serve as the honorary starter. Jordan Fisher will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The Voice winners Girl Named Tom will sing “America the Beautiful” and Jim Cornelison will return for “(Back Home Again in) Indiana.”

Live coverage of the race will begin at 11 a.m. Sunday on NBC, Telemundo Deportes on Universo and the IndyCar Radio Network. The race is scheduled to begin at 12:45 p.m., according to IMS.

Indy 500 grand marshal Blake Shelton also served the same role for NASCAR’s All-Star race last weekend in Texas

NASCAR fans got both a pre-race concert and an exuberant “start your engines” command from Shelton last week. Outsider’s Jonathan Howard called Shelton’s shriek “perhaps the best starting command we’ve seen” all year; and that Blake got his “blood pumping” for the race.

“Just a totally normal day.. yep.. totally normal…” Shelton captioned his Instagram post.

And before the race, country music fans got to watch a full one-hour set from Shelton. Texas Motor Speedway General Manager Rob Ramage said leading up to the event that Shelton’s participation made perfect sense for the weekend.

“It only makes sense to have next-level talent like Blake Shelton perform for this festival of fun. It’s one of the crown jewels of motorsports racing, the NASCAR All-Star Race,” Ramage said. “We are offering a priceless experience for our fans and have countless activities planned for this festival. Keep watching our website, we will have so many other next-level fan experiences to announce. It’s going to be huge, something for everyone. And we are so excited to have this super star, Blake Shelton, perform live during our All-Star Race and festival.”