Being Named Grand Marshals
Thursday, March 6, 2003
If you ask famous fishermen Johnny Morris and Bill Dance and conservation leader Rob Keck just how big this Sunday's Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is, they'll probably grin, spread their arms wide open and reply, "This big."
That's because these three legendary outdoorsmen will be seeing the festivities up close, serving as Grand Marshals and giving the famous command to start engines.
Morris is the founder of Bass Pro Shops. But fishing isn't just his job - it's his life and his passion. A five-time qualifier for the Bass Masters Classic, Morris is also a member of the Fishing Hall of Fame and a deeply committed conservation leader.
Dance is a member of the International Fishing Hall of Fame and a 23-time National Bass Champion. He is a three-time B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year, eight-time Bass Masters Classic qualifier and host of a national TV outdoors show. He has written seven books about fishing, and his largest catch was a 13-lb., 2 oz. Largemouth Bass.
Rob Keck is Chief Executive of the 450,000-member National Wild Turkey Federation. He is also the host of the NWTF's two award-winning television programs, "Turkey Call", which airs on TNN (The National Network), and "Turkey Country", which airs on the Outdoor Channel. Keck is a dedicated hunter, fisherman and trapper.
Another fishing legend and Missouri Sports Hall of Fame member, Charlie Campbell, will serve as honorary starter for Sunday's race, waving the green flag as 43 cars rumble down the front stretch to begin the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Campbell, also a five-time B.A.S.S. Masters Classic qualifier, has been an integral part of Bass Pro Shops since 1977. He helped design the original Bass Tracker boat, developed the Charlie Campbell Spinner Bait and helped bring back to popularity the Zara Spook topwater bait.
The Bass Pro Shops weekend kicks off Friday with Georgia Power Qualifying Day, the fastest qualifying day on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit. The action continues on Saturday with the ARCA 400, and the weekend will culminate with Sunday's Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Great seats are still available for all three days of racing. Call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211 for more information.