Ron Howard to drive pace car at IMS

The Brickyard 400 is July 29

The Brickyard 400 is July 29 (July 20, 2012)

Indianapolis

Former child actor and Oscar-winning director Ron Howard will bring Hollywood glitz to this year’s Brickyard 400.

Howard will lead the NASCAR field as a the pace car driver for the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard powered by BigMachineRecords.com. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway made the announcement Friday.

Howard is famous for his role as Opie Taylor on the Andy Griffith Show. He was cast when he was just six years old. He also starred in George LucasAmerican Graffiti and played Richie Cunningham on another classic sitcom, Happy Days.

Howard is an accomplished director who helmed hits like Backdraft, Angels & Demons, Cinderella Man, Apollo 13, The Da Vinci Code and Cinderella Man. He won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director for A Beautiful Mind. His 2008 film Frost/Nixon earned him another nomination for Best Director.

“It’s a great honor to welcome a true legend, Ron Howard, to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race,” said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief executive officer. “Ron has become immersed in motorsports’ culture and history through the filming of ‘Rush,’ so he’s an ideal person to pace the field for one of NASCAR’s biggest races at ‘The Greatest Race Course in the World.’”

The Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard powered by BigMachineRecords.com is Sunday, July 29.

PHOTO GALLERIES