Award-winning director, producer and actor Ron Howard will have the honor of driving the Pace Car at next weekend’s Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard.
Howard is best-recognized for his role as Opie Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show.” He also has directed big time pictures like A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Cinderella Man, and The Da Vinci Code.
This is a big upgrade from Guy Fieri of the Food Network, who led the field around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May for the Indianapolis 500. I’m still not sure how a famous chef who owns a handful of restaurants and hosts a show is worthy, especially at the biggest race of the year. (No, I don’t watch the Food Network.)
I’m younger than the average person that will be at next weeks race but at least Howard has been a big part of major movies that many have seen. This opportunity will be special for him, as he will be visiting that track for the first time as guest of Jeff Gordon.
“I’ve been a longtime admirer of Jeff’s work both on and off the track,” Howard said. “I’m honored to drive the Pace Car at IMS, and I thank NASCAR for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
About “Super Weekend”:
IMS will be the epicenter of American stock car racing and North American sports car racing July 26-29, 2012, as the NASCAR Nationwide Series and GRAND-AM Road Racing will join the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for four exciting races during the inaugural Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard.
It will be the first time in IMS history that races will take place on the 2.5-mile oval and 2.534-mile Grand Prix road course during the same weekend, and GRAND-AM Road Racing and the NASCAR Nationwide Series will make their IMS racing debuts, respectively, Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28. The weekend will culminate Sunday, July 29, with the running of the 19th annual Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard powered by BigMachineRecords.com.