Before the drivers had a chance to rev up their engines at the 53rd running of The Daytona 500 on Sunday, a host of celebrities, including stars of Transformers, took the main stage to get the crowd revved up.
The Grand Marshals for the race included Director Michael Bay and actor/model Josh Duhamel, who plays Captain/Major William Lennox, along with English model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who plays Carly, protagonist Sam Witwicky’s new love interest, replacing the Megan Fox character, Mikeala, in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the third and final film in the series.
A pair of Chevrolet Impala stock cars that star in the upcoming Transformers movie took a lap at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. just prior to the race to promote the movie, which is scheduled to be released in theaters July 1.
The NASCAR stock cars are a part of a heavily armed Autobot team in the movie called The Wreckers. On hand for the race was the #48 Lowes/Colbalt car, aka “Topspin,” and the #42 Target car, aka “Leadfoot.”
The third car in the team “Roadbuster,” is the #88 AMP Energy/National Grid car, which is driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Roadbuster was presumably too busy preparing for the big race to show off his guns beforehand.
Also on hand during the warm ups for the Great American Race were county singers Brad Paisley, the Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year who performed during the pre-race show, and Martina McBride, who sang the National Anthem.
Paisley opened with “Saturday Night” and also played “Water” and “Mud on the Tires.” He also drove the pacecar.
But not all of the celebrities were there to work the show. Duhamel’s wife, Fergie, of the Black Eyed Peas, came down to suppert her husband and watch the race. She had performed during the pre-race show in 2006.
Trevor Bayne, a 20-year-old rookie racecar driver, won the race in a stunning upset, making him the youngest to ever achieve the feat.
His win came on the 10th anniversary of the death of Dale Earnhardt, the famed driver who raced 20 years before he finally won the NASCAR equivalent of the Super Bowl.
Earnhardt died during a crash in the last lap of the race in 2001.