Charlize Theron named honorary starter for Daytona 500

Superstar actress will wave green flag for first race of season

Charlize Theron.
Charlize Theron.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Superstar actress Charlize Theron has been named the Honorary Starter for the historic 60th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 18.

Theron will wave the green flag for the Daytona 500, the season-opening race for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Theron won both an Oscar and Golden Globe for best actress in 2003 for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wournos in “Monster.” She has also starred in such notable films as “The Cider House Rules” (1999); “The Italian Job” (2003); and “North Country” (2005), which resulted in Golden Globe and Oscar nominations.

Previous Daytona 500 honorary starters include Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee LaDainian Tomlinson; actors Gary Sinise, Angie Harmon, Ashton Kutcher and Whoopi Goldberg; and Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Ken Griffey Jr.

“Charlize Theron is the latest in a long line of accomplished entertainers, athletes, U.S. military members and others to serve as the Honorary Starter for the Daytona 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile said. “We are thrilled to have her as our guest at 'The Great American Race' and we are certain race fans will feel the same way.”

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 perform the national anthem.

Tickets for the 60th annual Daytona 500 and other Speedweeks events can be purchased online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 800-PITSHOP.

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