Ultimate Fighting Championship Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin will serve as grand marshal of the DC Solar 350 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday.
Griffin, the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, will make the call for drivers to start their engines to kick off the 146-lap race at the 1.5-mile speedway. Griffin is a former Georgia police officer who amassed a 19-7 mixed martial arts record during an illustrious and action-packed career that ran from 2001-12.
"It will be a thrill to serve as grand marshal of the DC Solar 350, and I can't wait to get out to Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday," Griffin said. "I'm a huge fan of any sport that gets the blood pumping and adrenaline going, and NASCAR definitely does that. I'm looking forward to meeting the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers and being a part of a great day of racing at the best outdoor sports venue in Las Vegas. It will be a blast!"
Griffin won the first season of "The Ultimate Fighter" TV show in 2005 and served as coach of "The Ultimate Fighter 7" against Quinton Jackson in 2008. Griffin won the UFC Light Heavyweight championship belt on July 5, 2008, with a unanimous decision win over Jackson, and many of his fights received Fight of the Night honors from the UFC.
Griffin's final fight was a unanimous-decision victory over Tito Ortiz on July 7, 2012, and he officially retired on May 26, 2013. Upon his retirement, UFC President Dana White announced that Griffin and Stephan Bonnar would be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame on July 6, 2013.
While attending the University of Georgia, Griffin worked as a law enforcement officer for the Richmond County Sheriff's Office in Augusta, Ga., and a patrol officer with the University of Georgia police. Griffin graduated from UGA with a bachelor of arts in political science.
The green flag for the DC Solar 350 drops at 5:30 p.m., and fireworks will follow immediately after the checkered flag is waved at the conclusion of the race. Practice sessions are scheduled for 8:30-9:30 a.m. and 10-11 a.m., and qualifying begins at 3:10 p.m.
Race tickets are available online at LVMS.com or by calling 1-800-644-4444. All ticket buyers will have free access to the Neon Garage throughout the course of race day, and children 12 and under get a free general admission ticket when accompanying a paid adult.