The Detroit Lions’ first-round draft pick Eric Ebron is the grand marshal and Quicken Loans chief executive officer Bill Emerson will serve as the honorary starter for Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
The rookie tight end will give the command of “Start your engines!” when the race gets under way at 1:07 p.m. p.m. at the track. The Quicken Loans 400 will be broadcast live on TNT.
“I am excited,” Ebron said. “I’ve never been to a race before, and being new to the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan, it’s an honor. I know NASCAR has a lot of ties to North Carolina, so I’m proud to represent my hometown of Greensboro, my university and the Detroit Lions.”
Ebron was the first-round draft pick (10th overall) of the Lions in the 2014 NFL Draft. The North Carolina product caught 112 career passes for 1,805 yards and eight touchdowns for the Tar Heels. The Lions project the athletic tight end to step right in as a starter and serve as another valuable addition to its offensive unit this upcoming season.
The rookie holds school tight end records for single-season receptions, single-season receiving yards, career receptions and career receiving yards as a junior at North Carolina. His 895 receiving yards in 2013 are an ACC record for a tight end, besting the mark of 871 set by Maryland’s Vernon Davis in 2005.
As chief executive officer, Emerson is responsible for the leadership and growth of Quicken Loans, the nation’s second largest retail mortgage lender and largest VA mortgage provider. Dedicated to his community, Emerson has been the recipient of the ALS Association’s Iron Horse Award and the Salvation Army’s prestigious William Booth Award, the non-profit’s highest honor. He also supports the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Michigan Chapter.