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Academy Award winner Russell Crowe to serve as grand marshal in Talladega

TALLADEGA, Ala (June 17, 2020) – Academy Award© winner Russell Crowe, star of the upcoming edge-of-your-seat thriller, Unhinged, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Unhinged 300 at Talladega NASCAR Xfinity Series race at historical Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday.

Crowe will give the command for drivers to “Start Your Engines” for the race, which is set for green flag at 5:30 p.m. ET. Just a week ago, NASCAR, Talladega Superspeedway and Solstice Studios announced the new race entitlement.

Unhinged, opening in theaters nationwide on Saturday, July 10, is one of the first new films to debut since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the partnership with NASCAR’s biggest and most competitive venue, Solstice Studios will also activate at other NASCAR properties, including Motor Racing Network (MRN) and NASCAR Digital Media, as well as FOX.

RELATED: Schedule for Talladega

Unhinged is a timely action-packed psychological thriller that takes something we’ve all experienced — road rage — to an unpredictable and terrifying conclusion. Rachel (Caren Pistorius) is running late to work when she has an altercation at a traffic light with a stranger (Crowe) whose life has left him feeling powerless and invisible. Soon, Rachel finds herself, and everyone she loves, the target of a man who decides to make one last mark upon the world by teaching her a series of deadly lessons. What follows is a dangerous game of cat and mouse that proves you never know just how close you are to someone who is about to become unhinged. Directed by Derrick Borte, the film stars Crowe, Caren Pistorius, Gabriel Bateman, Jimmi Simpson, and Austin P. McKenzie. The Unhinged  trailer can be found here:

When Crowe first read the script for Unhinged, his instinctive response was: “Absolutely not. I’m not doing this movie, it scares (the #&%$) out of me, this character is intensely dark … and when I heard that come out of my mouth, I was like, since when did I stop doing that? Cause that’s basically what I look for. I look for challenges.”

Crowe, born in New Zealand but raised in Australia, earned three consecutive Best Actor Oscar® nominations for his work in the acclaimed 1999 drama The Insider; 2000 Best Picture winner, Gladiator, for which he took home the Oscar®; and in Best Picture winner, A Beautiful Mind in 2001

Like Unhinged, racing at Talladega Superspeedway is intense, pushes drivers to the limit, and is definitely a challenge. The track, built in 1969, has held NASCAR Xfinity Series events since 1992, providing some of the closest finishes in the sport’s history, including Terry Labonte’s win in 1999 by .002 seconds. This year’s race will be a part of the Xfinity Series’ Dash 4 Cash $100,000 bonus-money program for Xfinity Series regular drivers. Chase Briscoe, Brandon Jones, Ross Chastain and AJ Allmendinger will vie for the extra cash as well as their first Talladega triumph.

The Unhinged 300 at Talladega will be the second race at the iconic venue on Saturday, June 20. Earlier in the day, at 2 p.m. ET, the General Tire 200 for the ARCA Menards Series will take the green flag. Both events will compete without fans in attendance, but will be broadcast live on FS1, MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.