Owen Wilson will have the honor of being the Grand Marshal at the 59th Annual Daytona 500 on February 26, 2017. Wilson was chosen to be the Grand Marshal because of his voice work as Lightning McQueen in the Disney•Pixar Cars franchise. He’s reprising the role in the upcoming Cars 3 heading to theaters on June 16, 2017.
Wilson will be delivering the “Drivers, start your engines” command that will open this year’s Daytona 500. He’ll also be participating in the pace laps as a passenger in one of the Grand Marshal cars. The Cars 3 star joins a list of past celebrity Grand Marshals that includes Gerard Butler, Vince Vaughn, John Travolta, Ben Affleck, Nicolas Cage, and Matthew McConaughey.
“Owen Wilson is one of America’s most beloved comedic actors and his voice has brought Lightning McQueen to life for millions of movie-goers over the last 10 years,” stated Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile. “His star-power, and of course his personality, are perfect fits for ‘The Great American Race.’”
The Cars 3 Plot: Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo), with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!