Long Pond, PA (June 6, 2011) ― Pocono Raceway announced that Jason Lee, star of TNT’s MEMPHIS BEAT, has been named Grand Marshal for the 5-hour ENERGY 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 12, 2011. Lee, who stars as Memphis police detective Dwight Hendricks, will participate in pre-race activities, which includes giving the command for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers to start their engines.
MEMPHIS BEAT centers on Hendricks, a detective who considers himself the keeper of Memphis. He inherited a passion for music and an instinct for solving crimes from his father, an officer who was killed in the line of duty when Dwight was a young boy. Dwight sees his hometown of Memphis as a rich, magical place. He is an outstanding detective with a laid-back, easygoing style and an incredible, radar-like intuition about what people are thinking or feeling.
MEMPHIS BEAT is slated to launch its second season Tuesday, June 14, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT). In the second-season opener of MEMPHIS BEAT, the squad will be plunged into a case involving the death of an admired police officer who may have been involved with a white supremacist group. The case hits home for Dwight, who relates to the young son the officer left behind.
With a flourishing career that includes an Independent Spirit Award for his performance in writer-director Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy and memorable roles in multiple features for such directors as Smith, Cameron Crowe and Lawrence Kasdan, Lee has solidly established himself among critics, directors and peers.
For four seasons, Lee starred in and produced the half-hour NBC comedy series My Name is Earl, about a hapless crook who has an epiphany after winning a small fortune in the lottery. He earned two Golden GlobeÒ nominations and two Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG AwardsÒ) nominations for his performance.
Born and raised in Huntington Beach, Calif., Lee turned a childhood pastime of skateboarding into a professional career. After moving to Los Angeles during his early 20s, however, he began developing an interest in acting. His big break came in 1995 with the lead role in Smith’s Mallrats. He went on to star in Smith’s Chasing Amy, for which he won an Independent Spirit Award for best supporting male for his role. He re-teamed with Smith on Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Clerks II.
Lee is a professional photographer as well as an avid supporter and collector of the arts. He is also actively involved with his skateboard company, Stereo Sound Agency, which recently celebrated its 15 year anniversary.
Lee will give the command “Gentlemen Start your Engines” that will bring to life 43, 800 horsepower NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock cars for the 30th Annual 5-hour ENERGY 500 on June 12. For ticket information, call toll free 1-800-RACEWAY or visit: WWW.poconoraceway.com.