Daytona Beach, FL (AHN) – The Daytona 500 annually brings its share of celebrities to town and this Sunday will be no different as film star Tom Cruise will be here to drive the Chevrolet Camaro pace car at the start of the race.
Cruise played NASCAR driver Cole Trickle 19 years ago in the movie “Days of Thunder,’ a portion of which was filmed here at Daytona International Speedway.
“It all came together pretty quickly,” said Speedway president Robin Braig. “We’re not really sure how it happened, but we’re pleased that Rick Hendrick got involved, and that Chevy and NASCAR agreed to let him drive the pace car.” (…)
NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick, who 19 years ago supplied the race cars used in the film, had Cruise as a guest in December in New York City at the annual NASCAR awards banquet.
Hendrick will ship two of his “Days of Thunder” cars to Daytona, which will be on display during Sunday’s pre-race hours.
In recent years, the Daytona 500 pace car has been driven by baseball half-of-famer Cal Ripken Jr., talk-show host Jay Leno, and racing legend Junior Johnson.
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