DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The stars of “TRANSFORMERS: Dark of the Moon”– Josh Duhamel, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and director Michael Bay – will serve as the Grand Marshals for 53rd running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011, airing at 12 p.m. ET on FOX. As Grand Marshals, the TRANSFORMERS cast will deliver the four most famous words in motorsports – “Gentlemen, start your engines.”
In addition, the modified NASCAR stock cars of drivers Jimmie Johnson, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. featured in the movie will make their first public appearance by leading the 43-car field during the pace laps of “The Great American Race,” the kick-off event to the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Click here to view the cars of Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, and Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet.
The Daytona 500 will not be Bay's or TRANSFORMERS’ first introduction to the NASCAR world. In 2009, Bay piloted the official pace car at a NASCAR Sprint Cup race to promote the DVD release of “TRANSFORMERS: Revenge of the Fallen.” Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, and Ryan Newman also took part, racing with branded images of opposing AUTOBOTS and DECEPTICONS on their cars and uniforms. Bay credits his vision to include NASCAR stock cars in the new TRANSFORMERS film to this experience.
“We’re honored to have the stars and director from this blockbuster film franchise “TRANSFORMERS: Dark of the Moon” serve as Grand Marshals of ‘The Great American Race,’” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “As an added bonus for our fans, three cars from the movie will be on location during Speedweeks and we all look forward to watching them lead the field for the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 on the newly paved racing surface.”
In the days leading up to the Daytona 500, race fans can view the TRANSFORMERS NASCAR stock cars at the Chevy Display located in the Midway outside Turn 4.
Tickets for Speedweeks 2011 events, including the 53rd annual Daytona 500, are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.