Nicolas Cage, the star of the upcoming action-adventure Ghost Rider¿ from Columbia Pictures, in theaters everywhere on February 16th, has been named Grand Marshal of the 49th annual Daytona 500, NASCAR's biggest, richest, and most prestigious race.
Cage will command the drivers, "Gentlemen, start your engines!" at NASCAR's signature event, which will run on Sunday, Feb. 18 at historic Daytona International Speedway.
"The Daytona 500 is America's premier motorsports event and consistently attracts some of the biggest high-profile personalities," said Speedway President Robin Braig. "We're excited to have Nicolas take part in Daytona 500 pre-race festivities to help start what will be an exciting 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season."
From Marvel Comics, creators of Spider-Man¿, Fantastic Four, and X-Men, comes a new hero....Ghost Rider¿. Long ago, superstar motorcycle stunt rider Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) made a deal with the devil to protect the ones he loved most: his father and his childhood sweetheart, Roxanne (Eva Mendes). Now, the devil has come for his due. By day, Johnny is a die-hard stunt rider... but at night, in the presence of evil, he becomes the Ghost Rider, a bounty hunter of rogue demons. Forced to do the devil's bidding, Johnny is determined to confront his fate and use his curse and powers to defend the innocent.
Cage has starred in more than 50 films including such popular releases as National Treasure, Gone in Sixty Seconds, Face/Off, Con Air, The Rock, Raising Arizona, and Leaving Las Vegas, which garnered him an Academy Award® for Best Actor.
Recent Daytona 500 Grand Marshals that have helped start "The Great American Race" have included actor James Caan (2006), actor Matthew McConaughey (2005), President George W. Bush and actor, director, and writer Ben Affleck (2004) and actor John Travolta (2003).
Tickets for Speedweeks 2007 and the 49th annual Daytona 500 are available online at http://www.racetickets.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.