Muppet to utter most famous words in racing

March 13, 2014, Staff report,

Gonzo to start the Auto Club 400 on opening weekend for 'Muppets Most Wanted'

Movie and television stars have been coming to Auto Club Speedway and serving as grand marshal since the track opened in 1997.

Next weekend, a Muppet will say the most famous words in racing, "Drivers, start your engines."

The Great Gonzo, "a poultry-loving daredevil and plumbing aficionado," will give the command before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 23 at 3 p.m. ET on FOX.

"Going around in circles as fast as possible is how I got my start," said Gonzo, who counts NASCAR racing among his favorite sports. "So it's a real honor to be named Grand Marshal of this year's Auto Club 400! For me, it's right up there with sword-juggling, bog-snorkeling and competitive dentistry."

It's a busy weekend for Gonzo and the Muppets as their latest feature film, "Muppets Most Wanted," hits theaters two days before the race.

The new movie features Gonzo and the gang on a global tour when they find themselves entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine -- the World's Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit the Frog -- and his dastardly sidekick Dominic, a.k.a. Number Two, portrayed by Ricky Gervais. The film stars Ty Burrell as Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon and Tina Fey as Nadya, a feisty prison guard.