Ron Howard to Drive pace car at NASCAR’s Brickyard 400 image

Award-winning director, producer and actor Ron Howard will drive the pace car for the Brickyard 400 on July 29 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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.

“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, IMS Corp. president and CEO.

“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.'”

“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.”

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.

The Pace Car for the 19th annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at IMS will be announced soon.