Ayesha Curry named grand marshal at Sonoma

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Ayesha Curry has been named grand marshal for the Verizon IndyCar Series’ season finale, the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.

A release from the track is below:

Celebrity chef and popular Bay Area personality Ayesha Curry has been named Grand Marshal of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Verizon IndyCar Series season finale at Sonoma Raceway, Sept. 16-18.

Curry, wife of Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry, began her career as the creator of the popular food and lifestyle blog Little Lights of Mine and is now moving on to become one of the rising stars in the culinary world. Curry has guest judged on popular Food Network shows such as Guy’s Grocery Gamesand Chopped Junior, and recently authored her first cookbook, The Seasoned Life, which will be published onSeptember 20 from Little, Brown and Company. She is also slated to host her own TV show on Food Network, Ayesha’s Homemade.

In June, Curry teamed up with chef and restaurateur Michael Mina to open International Smoke, a pop-up restaurant in San Francisco’s Mina Test Kitchen, with additional locations set to open in the next several months. Curry also boasts a meal-delivery startup, curated a collection of baby footwear and has her own signature line of olive oils, vinegars and aprons sold at retail.

In her role as Grand Marshal of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, Curry will take part in pre-race activities on Sunday, Sept. 18, and give the official command of, “Drivers, Start Your Engines.” This will mark her first visit to a motorsports event.

“This will be my first time going to Sonoma Raceway and a Verizon Indycar Series event, so I’m very excited,” said Curry. “You can’t beat seeing a sporting event like this in person, and I’m sure it will be an incredible experience. It’s an honor to be named Grand Marshal; I can’t wait to say “Drivers, start your engines!”

The Curry family quickly grabbed local and international attention during the Golden State Warriors’ record-setting run to the 2015 NBA Championship. In addition to daughter Riley, a popular addition to Steph’s post-game press conferences, the Currys welcomed a second daughter, Ryan, in 2015.

“We are very excited to have Ayesha join us for the GoPro Grand Prix weekend,” said Steve Page, Sonoma Raceway president and general manager. “She has emerged over the last two years as one of the Bay Area’s most dynamic personalities and culinary stars, and she’ll be a perfect fit for such a high-energy event in the Sonoma Wine Country.”

Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
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Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”