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Director Ron Howard to drive pace car at NASCAR's Brickyard 400

July 20, 2012|By Jim Peltz
  • Ron Howard attends the premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" in New York on Friday.
Ron Howard attends the premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" in… (Justin Lane / EPA )

Director Ron Howard will drive the pace car at the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race July 29 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, track officials said Friday.

Howard is making a movie about motor racing, "Rush," a drama that centers around the rivalry between Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda for the 1976 world championship.

The film, starring Chris Hemsworth as Hunt and Daniel Bruhl as Lauda, is expected to be released next year.

It will be Howard's first visit to the famed 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he'll be a guest of four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon.

"I'm honored to drive the pace car at IMS, and I thank NASCAR for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Howard said in a statement. Howard's films include "A Beautiful Mind," "Apollo 13" and "Backdraft."

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