DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Academy Award, Golden Globe, SAG winning and Emmy nominated actress Charlize Theron has been named the Honorary Starter for the historic 60th annual DAYTONA 500 on Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway. Theron will wave the green flag for the DAYTONA 500, the season-opening race (TV – FOX, FOX Deportes; Radio – MRN, Sirius XM) for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Theron stars in and produces the upcoming Amazon Studios film “Gringo,” under her production company Denver and Delilah’s banner. The film will be released in theaters nationwide on March 9. “Gringo”, a dark comedy mixed with white knuckle action and dramatic intrigue, explores the battle of survival for businessman Harold Soyinka when he finds himself crossing the line from law abiding citizen to wanted criminal. The film also stars David Oyelowo, Joel Edgerton, Amanda Seyfried, Yul Vazquez, Thandie Newton and Sharlto Copley.
Theron won both an Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Actress in 2003 for her stunning 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. She has most recently been seen in box office hits such as “Atomic Blonde”, “The Fate of the Furious” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” as well as a producer on the Netflix original series “Mindhunter”.
Recent 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,” said Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile. “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.”
Tickets for the 60th annual DAYTONA 500 and other Speedweeks events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat, and by downloading Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app, for the latest Speedway news throughout the season.