It’s going to be Hammer time at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday when legendary hip-hop artist MC Hammer takes the microphone and declares, “Drivers, start your engines!” before the IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma.
Hammer, a Bay Area native who has sold more than 50 million records worldwide, was named Grand Marshal of the Grand Prix of Sonoma, which is the season finale of the Verizon IndyCar Series season. This year’s race is the final scheduled Sonoma Raceway appearance of the IndyCar tour, which will move its season-ending race to Laguna Seca near Monterey next year.
Along with giving the command for drivers to start their engines, Hammer will ride in the car that leads the field to the green flag with racing legend Mario Andretti at the wheel of a two-seat Indy car.
“I’m looking forward to an exciting day at INDYCAR’s championship race at Sonoma Raceway,” Hammer said in a statement released by the raceway.
Hammer, whose real name is Stanley Kirk Burrell, is best known for hits “Too Legit to Quit” and “U Can’t Touch This,” which includes seminal line “Stop, Hammer time!” He won three Grammy Awards, eight American Music Awards and the first Billboard Diamond Award won by a hip-hop artist.
A onetime batboy for the Oakland A’s, the 56-year-old Hammer is a big Bay Area sports fans, seen at Golden State Warriors, Oakland Raiders and A’s games often over the years.