Owen Wilson, voice of Lightning McQueen, named Daytona 500 Grand Marshal

By Ashley Carter, Digital Media Producer
Last Updated: Friday, January 20, 2017, 1:44 PM EST

“Cars 3” star Owen Wilson has been tapped to lead this year’s Daytona 500 as Grand Marshal.

  • Owen Wilson named Grand Marshal of Daytona 500
  • Wilson voices Lightning McQueen of Pixar's Cars
  • Daytona 500 takes place Feb. 26

The voice of Pixar’s Lightning McQueen will deliver the iconic command, “Drivers, start your engines” to competitors during NASCAR’s biggest event. Wilson will also ride in one of the Grand Marshal cars during pace laps.

“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,” said Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile in a press release. “His star-power, and of course his personality, are perfect fits for ‘The Great American Race.’"

Other actors that have served as Grand Marshals include Ben Affleck, John Travolta, Nicolas Cage and Gerard Butler.

“Cars 3” races into theaters nationwide on June 16.

The 59th annual Daytona 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be held Feb. 26 at Daytona International Speedway.