Actor Gerard Butler to serve as Grand Marshal of Daytona 500

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If a number of NASCAR drivers get a little less swooning or hooting and hollering from female fans on race day for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 21, there’s a good reason.

Actor Gerard Butler will serve as Grand Marshal for the 58th running of the Great American Race.

Track officials made the announcement during Tuesday’s NASCAR Media Day.

Butler, who stars in the upcoming action thriller London Has Fallen (opens in theaters nationwide on March 4), will give the command for drivers to start engines to drivers.

The Scottish native, who shot to stardom in the film version of Phantom of the Opera in 2004, will also take part in other pre-race events including the driver’s meeting, as well as riding around the track during pace laps prior to the green flag of the 200-lap, 500-mile race.

“We’re honored to have Gerard Butler serve as Grand Marshal for the Daytona 500,” DIS president Joie Chitwood III said. “Gerard is a talented actor and we look forward to hearing his starting command to kick off the first Daytona 500 held in the new motorsports stadium.”

Butler joins a long list of other actors who have previously served as Grand Marshal of the Daytona 500, including Vince Vaughn, James Franco, Chris Evans, John Travolta, Ben Affleck, Nicolas Cage, and Matthew McConaughey.

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