Comic hero classic named Daytona 500 Grand Marshal

February 16, 2014, Staff report,

'Captain America' film star Chris Evans will give the command

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series opener, the Daytona 500, is called "The Great American Race." This season to get the event started, Daytona International Speedway has announced one of America's greatest superheroes will give the command for drivers to start their engines.

Chris Evans, the actor who portrays Captain America in the upcoming film "Captain America: The Winter Solider," will also participate in opening ceremonies and take pre-race laps in a pace car as Grand Marshal for the event.

“What better way to kick-off 'The Great American Race' than with Captain America, Chris Evans, giving the command to start engines?" Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "We look forward to having him be a part of our pre-race ceremonies in front of more than a hundred thousand race fans in attendance and millions more watching on FOX as we launch the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season."

Evans joins a formidable list of actors and actresses who have held the position of Daytona 500 Grand Marshal before, including John Travolta, Ben Affleck, Jane Lynch and James Franco.

Fans can watch Evans send the Sprint Cup Series drivers out on the track for the first points race of the season on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX, or following along on for lap-by-lap updates or listen to the drivers and watch the race on RaceView.

'Captain America: The Winter Soldier,' which follows the Marvel hero as he battles a villainous plot concocted by the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), is scheduled to hit theaters on April 4.