'Captain America' Chris Evans to Be Daytona 500 Grand Marshal

The actor is set to add some Marvel gravitas to the "Drivers, start your engines" command.
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Chris Evans

The actor who portrays one of the most old-school, top-tier superheroes is set to preside over one of the premier sporting events in America's Heartland.

Marvel's Captain America, Chris Evans, was named this year's grand marshal for the 56th annual Daytona 500 series race. Fittingly, he'll be tasked with adding some gravitas to the signature "Drivers, start your engines" command.

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It's a job that Steve Rogers, his Marvel character's alter ego, might have dutifully performed while longing to get back to the World War II battlefield.

Many other actors promoting studio action movies -- Matthew McConaughey (Sahara) and Nicholas Cage (Ghost Rider) among them -- have showed up at the Daytona 500. But the Marvel tie-in, which promotes the April 4 release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, seems a natural marketing fit.

In 2013, James Franco, promoting Oz the Great and Powerful, somehow managed to make his one-line exhortation controversial by changing the phrase to "Drivers -- and Danica [Patrick] -- start your engines."

The Daytona 500 starts its engines on Feb. 23.