DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Hollywood actress Amber Heard will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 33rd annual Budweiser Shootout on Saturday night, Feb. 12 – the star-studded non-points NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event that kicks off the stock car portion of Speedweeks 2011 at Daytona International Speedway.
Heard will give the starting command “Gentlemen start your engines” as the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series compete for the first time on the newly repaved racing surface of the “World Center of Racing.”
The Budweiser Shootout will feature former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions, the 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field, a host of former outstanding rookies and a collection of previous winners at Daytona International Speedway.
“Every NASCAR fan is anxiously waiting for Amber Heard to say the four most famous words in motorsports as we begin a new chapter in Daytona’s history,” said track President Joie Chitwood III said.
“This year’s Budweiser Shootout will provide the first opportunity for fans to witness their favorite NASCAR drivers getting their first taste of the new asphalt.”
Heard will next be seen in the action thriller “Drive Angry 3D” starring opposite Nicolas Cage, which is set for release on Feb. 25. She will also be seen in “The Rum Diary” starring opposite Johnny Depp and Aaron Eckhart later this year.
Heard recently starred in John Carpenter's “The Ward,” which premiered at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival and the independent film, “And Soon the Darkness.”
Previously, Heard starred in 2009's box office hit “Zombieland” opposite Woody Harrelson, Bill Murray and Jesse Eisenberg and the suspense thriller “The Stepfather.” In 2008, she starred in the comedic hit “Pineapple Express” with Seth Rogan and James Franco and received a 2008 Young Hollywood Award for her breakthrough performance.
On television, Heard starred on The CW drama “Hidden Palms” and had guest starring roles on Showtime's “Californication” and CBS's “Criminal Minds.”
Tickets for all of 2011 Speedweeks events including Budweiser Shootout are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway)