2013-02-14 / Top News

‘Oz’ actor Franco is off to start the ‘Great American Race’


James Franco, seen in Disney’s upcoming “Oz The Great and Powerful,” will be grand marshal for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 24. James Franco, seen in Disney’s upcoming “Oz The Great and Powerful,” will be grand marshal for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 24. James Franco, star of the Disney fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,” which is scheduled for release on March 8, will serve as grand marshal for the 55th running of the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 24 at Daytona International Speedway.

The race is scheduled for 1 p.m. on FOX and will also be broadcast on FOX Deportes, MRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

Mr. Franco will give the starting command, “Drivers start your engines,” in “The Great American Race.” He’ll also be introduced at the driver’s meeting, participate in pre-race ceremonies and ride in one of the Grand Marshal cars during the pace laps prior to the green flag of the 200-lap, 500-mile race.

“We’re excited to welcome James Franco and have him take part in the pre-race festivities for the Daytona 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “In front of thousands of race fans and millions more watching on FOX, we’re looking forward to hearing James’ enthusiastic starting command to kick off the Daytona 500 and the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.”

Mr. Franco joins a prestigious list of previous Daytona 500 grand marshals including John Travolta, Ben Affleck, Nicolas Cage, Kate Upton, Jane Lynch and Matthew McConaughey.

Tickets for the 55th Daytona 500, as well as all Budweiser Speedweeks At Daytona events, are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. ¦

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