Auto Club Speedway reports that actor Michael Rooker has been announced as the Grand Marshal of Pala Casino 400 at Auto Club Speedway’s historic 2-mile track. The event takes place Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023, and is a historic one as it will mark the final race on the current track.
Rooker is well known for many roles during his career, but one stands out, making him the perfect choice for the Grand Marshal. Of course, we are referencing his role as Rowdy Burns in Days of Thunder.
Auto Club Speedway President Dave Allen was thrilled to have Rooker open the race stating:
"Michael Rooker is an immensely successful actor, but his turn as Rowdy Burns is one of the most memorable on-screen depictions of motorsports on the big screen. We are proud to welcome him as our Grand Marshal, and we can’t wait to hear him give the command for the historic last race on the 2-mile oval."
Rooker, who grew up in NASCAR country, has always enjoyed fans asking him about his role as Rowdy.
"“I am grateful for the chance to give the command for this historic event. As someone who was raised in NASCAR country, I’ve always appreciated fans asking about my portrayal of Rowdy Burns in ‘Days of Thunder’. As I return to another NASCAR race, I can unequivocally state that I agree with Robert Duvall’s character Harry Hogge who said, ‘rubbin, son, is racin.’"
What else does Michael Rooker star in?
Rooker is well known for his role s Merle Dixon in The Walking Dead and as Yondu in the Guardians of the Galaxy Vols. 1 and 2.
He has also starred in Slither, Corrective Measures, Creepshow, What if…?, The Suicide Squad, F9: The Fast Saga, The Dark Tower, Love and Monsters, Fantasy Island, and Brightburn.
His first role was controversial, where he portrayed serial killer Henry Lee Lucas in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.
Next, Rooker will star in Kevin Costner’s new western, Horizon. This movie focuses on westward expansion pre-and post-Civil War. He will also star in a new Netflix series, The Out-Laws, which is expected to release in 2023. Other new projects in the works include Fast X, A Good Man is Hard to Find, Road Rage, Crime Boss: Rockay City and The President is Missing.