NASCAR

Famed director to pace NASCAR field

Actor/director Ron Howard
Ron Howard, here at a Nets game, will lead the Brickyard 400 field.
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP)

Director Ron Howard will have one of the best seats at this year's Brickyard 400.

celebrities at nascar races

ALL-STAR RACE

Celebrities head to NASCAR tracks to fill their need for speed.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials announced Friday that the Oscar-winning director would lead the field before the July 29 race at the storied 2.5-mile track.

Howard won Academy Awards for best director and best picture in 2001 for ''A Beautiful Mind.'' His latest project is titled ''Rush'' and depicts the Grand Prix clashes between Englishman James Hunt and Austrian Niki Lauda.

Speedway President Jeff Belskus says Howard has immersed himself in motorsports culture while filming ''Rush'' and is ''an ideal person to pace the field.''

Howard calls driving the pace car a ''once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.''

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