Criminal Minds Star AJ Cook To Serve As Grand Marshal For STP 500

Criminal Minds star AJ Cook will serve as the Grand Marshal for Sunday's STP 500.

On television AJ Cook is used to addressing large crowds, as a media liaison on the hit TV show Criminal Minds. On Sunday she will put those skills to the ultimate test, when she says the most famous words in motorsports – “Drivers, Start Your Engines.”

Cook will serve as the Grand Marshal for the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Criminal Minds eleventh season than at a NASCAR event,” said AJ Cook. “I’ve never given a starting command before. This is an incredible opportunity and I am so excited to be the Grand Marshal for the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.”


“Anytime you can have someone of AJ’s caliber give the command to start the engines is exciting,” Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell said. “It’s an honor to have her serve as the Grand Marshal for the STP 500 and is something our fans will really enjoy.”

She was recently seen in the Film District thriller Wer opposite Simon Quarterman (The Devil Inside).

AJ was born in Oshawa, Ontario, and grew up performing. She started dancing at the age of four, taking jazz, tap and ballet lessons. It wasn’t until she was sixteen that she decided to try acting.

After completing a few TV movies, AJ made her first appearance on the big screen as one of the sisters in Sofia Coppola’s critically acclaimed film, The Virgin Suicides. That same year she took a starring role in the TV series “Higher Ground” opposite Hayden Christiensen. Shortly after, she joined Eliza Dushku in “Tru Calling.”

AJ went on to star in feature films like Least Among Saints, (opposite Taylor Kinney), Bringing Ashley Home (opposite Jennifer Morrison), Ripper, Out Cold (opposite Zach Galifianakis and Jason London), Final Destination 2, I’m Reed Fish (opposite Jay Baruchel and Alexis Bledel,) and Night Skies.

The STP 500 race weekend April 1-3.

The weekend starts with Virginia Lottery Pole Day on Friday and continues with the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday.

The STP 500 Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, April 3.

Tickets start at $55.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at


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