DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Academy Award winner Charlize Theron was named honorary starter for the 60th running of the Daytona 500.
The actress will wave the green flag for the season-opening race Sunday in NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series.
Theron, who won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for best actress in 2003 for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wournos in “Monster,” stars in and produces the upcoming film “Gringo.” The movie will be released nationwide next month.
She also starred in “The Cider House Rules” (1999), “The Italian Job” (2003), “North Country” (2005), and more recently in “Atomic Blonde”, “The Fate of the Furious” and “Mad Max: Fury Road.”
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Recent honorary starters for “The Great American Race” include former Super Bowl MVP Ray Lewis (2013), actor Gary Sinise (2014), soccer star Abby Wambach (2015), baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. (2016) and Pro Football Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson (2017).
Other pre-race celebrities scheduled for the 2018 Daytona 500: Retired NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. will serve as grand marshal; country group Rascal Flatts will perform the pre-race concert; and Navy Band Southeast will sing the national anthem.
The celebrity pace-car driver is expected to be announced Tuesday.
More AP auto racing: www.racing.ap.org