News & Media

'Transformers' stars to be Daytona grand marshals

February 15, 2011, Track Release,

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Movie version of Johnson, Montoya, Earnhardt cars to lead field during pace laps

The stars of Transformers: Dark of the Moon -- Josh Duhamel, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and director Michael Bay -- will serve as the grand marshals for the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20. As grand marshals, the Transformers cast will deliver the four most famous words in motorsports -- "Gentlemen, start your engines."

In addition, the modified stock cars of drivers Jimmie Johnson, Juan 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 Sprint Cup Series season.

The Daytona 500 will not be Bay or Transformers' first introduction to the NASCAR world. In 2009, Bay piloted the official pace car at a Cup race to promote the DVD release of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Jeff Gordon 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.

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 or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.