Two-time Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard will drive the Pace Car at the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard powered by BigMachineRecords.com on Sunday, July 29, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway..
Howard has become an entertainment legend as a director, producer and actor. He
has directed worldwide blockbusters including "A Beautiful Mind,"
"Angels & Demons," "Apollo 13," "Backdraft,"
"Cinderella Man," "Cocoon," "Parenthood,"
"Splash," "The Da Vinci Code" and "Willow.” He
received Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture in 2001 for "A
Beautiful Mind" and was nominated for Best Director in 2008 for
Howard will be making his first visit to the historic speedway, and will shadow
four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon and his No. 24 Drive to
End Hunger team.
Howard's upcoming epic-action drama, "Rush" has a racing theme. It stars
Chris Hemsworth ("The Avengers") as the charismatic English Formula
One star James Hunt and Daniel Brühl ("Inglourious Basterds") as Austrian
Niki Lauda, whose clashes on the Grand Prix racetrack epitomized a contrast in
style that extended to their private lives. "Rush" is currently in
postproduction and will be released in 2013.
"It's a great honor to welcome a true legend, Ron Howard, to the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race,"
said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief
executive officer. "Ron has become immersed in motorsports' culture and
history through the filming of 'Rush,' so he's an ideal person to pace the field
for one of NASCAR's biggest races at 'The Greatest Race Course in the
The Pace Car for the 19th annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at IMS will be
"I've been a longtime admirer of Jeff's work both on and off the
track," Howard said. "Not only is he a stellar driver, but his
commitment to ending older hunger in America shows his passion for helping
others. I'm honored to drive the Pace Car at IMS, and I thank NASCAR for giving
me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Howard made his screen acting debut when he was 18 months old in the 1956 movie
"Frontier Woman," which led to a role for Howard at the age of 2 in a
stage production of "The Seven-Year Itch." He was introduced to
America on a much grander scale at age 6 when in 1960 he was cast in the role
of Opie Taylor on "The Andy Griffith Show," which led to major
motion-picture appearances in the "The Music Man" in 1962 and
"The Courtship of Eddie's Father" in 1963. His role in the 1973
George Lucas film, "American Graffiti," led him to the leading role
of Richie Cunningham in the hit television sitcom "Happy Days" from
Photo Credits: AP Photo/Austin Film Festival, Jack Plunkett