News & Media

James Franco to be Daytona Grand Marshal

February 08, 2013, Staff report,

James Franco

Actor will take part in 55th Daytona 500

James Franco, the actor known for roles in "Pineapple Express" and "127 hours," will serve as Grand Marshal in the Daytona 500.

“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.”

Upcoming events at Daytona International Speedway

Feb. 16: Sprint Unlimited
Vote on the race format
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Feb. 16-24: Budweiser Speedweeks
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Feb. 17: Daytona 500 Qualifying by Kroger
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Feb. 18-19 | Unoh Battle at the Beach
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Feb. 21 | Budweiser Duel
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Feb. 22 | Nextera Energy Resources 250
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Feb. 23 | Drive4COPD
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Feb. 24 | Daytona 500
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In his role as Grand Marshal, Franco will tell drivers in the Sprint Cup race to start their engines. The race is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. ET and will be aired on FOX, FOX Deportes, MRN Radio and SIruis XM Radio. Former Grand Marshals for the race include stars such as John Travolta, Ben Affleck, Jane Lynch and Matthew McConaughey.

Franco's latest movie, the Disney film "Oz The Great and Powerful," co-stars Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams as three witches who aren't impressed by Franco's character, Oscar Diggs, and his wizarding ability. The movie hits theaters March 8.