John Travolta named Grand Marshal of Daytona 500

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Jan. 16, 2003) -- Daytona International Speedway has put together a star-studded lineup for Speedweeks 2003 and the 45th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 16, including an international superstar actor, a Grammy-award winning singer...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Jan. 16, 2003) -- Daytona International Speedway has put together a star-studded lineup for Speedweeks 2003 and the 45th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 16, including an international superstar actor, a Grammy-award winning singer and two award-winning musical groups.

John Travolta, who has earned Academy Award nominations for his performances in both "Saturday Night Fever" and "Pulp Fiction," will give the command to start engines as Grand Marshal for the 45th annual Daytona 500.

Travolta, whose next film "Basic" will be released on April 18, has an affection for speed as a seasoned jet pilot, owner of his own 707 and as a spokesperson for Qantas Airlines to encourage air travel. Travolta will also give the command in front of a "hometown" crowd. Travolta is a sometimes resident of Florida.

Travolta will be joined on pit road by Grammy Award winning artist Mariah Carey, the biggest selling female pop artist of all time. She will kick off the festivities by singing the National Anthem.

Since she began her career, Carey has recorded an astounding 15 No. 1 singles, two Grammy Awards and has surpassed the Beatles as the artist with the most cumulative weeks spent atop Billboard's "Hot 100 Singles" chart.

The Speedway will also welcome two award-winning musical groups during Speedweeks. SHeDAISY will perform a pre-race concert prior to the start of the inaugural nighttime running of the Budweiser Shootout on Saturday, Feb. 8. The Utah-born siblings Kristyn, Kelsi and Kassidy Osborn make up SHeDAISY and will perform a concert shortly after the conclusion of the Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series season opener, which goes green at 4:30 p.m. SHeDAISY will also sing the national anthem before the 8 p.m. Budweiser Shootout.

Four-time Grammy nominated Christian rock band "Third Day" will perform a post-race concert at the track following the Feb. 15 Koolerz 300, the season opener for the NASCAR Busch Series. In addition, Third Day's talented lead singer Mac Powell will sing the national anthem before the start of the Koolerz 300.

Tickets for the Daytona 500 and other Speedweeks 2003 events are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.

-dis-

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Series NASCAR Cup