Saturday, May 28, 2011

IPL 500 Grand Marshal Today

2011 Indy 500 Draws Anderson Cooper, Kellie Pickler

6:16 PM 5/27/2011 by Sofia M. Fernandez

Donald Trump is out as celebrity pace car driver but plenty of other stars are headed to the race this weekend.

CNN's Anderson Cooper, American Idol champ Kellie Pickler and Burn Notice star Jeffrey Donovan are among the celebrities expected at this weekend's Indy 500 race and festivities.

Cooper is the grand marshal of the IPL 500 Festival Parade on Saturday in downtown Indianapolis and Pickler will serve as the parade's opening act. Previous grand marshals include Mickey & Minnie Mouse, President Gerald Ford, Gene Autry, Patricia Heaton and Jimmy Stewart.

Donovan, Ryan Reynolds, former Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels, Gordon Ramsay, actor-rapper Ludacris, The Hangover's Justin Bartha, Jason Sedeikis, Entourage's Adrian Grenier and Jeremy Renner are expected to attend the actual race on Sunday as well as Ashley Judd, whose husband, Dario Franchitti, came in first place last year.

STORY: Donald Trump Drops Out of Indianapolis 500 Duties Amidst Protests

Seal and Kelly Clarkson will duet on the National Anthem before the race with piano accompaniment by David Foster. Seal said, “I’ve been a fan of the Indy 500 for a long time, so I’m very excited to be a part of the 100th anniversary of the race."

One person who will not be in Indianapolis this weekend is Donald Trump -- he had been slotted to pilot the pace car for the big race but told Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials that the event conflicted with his schedule. "I very much appreciate the honor, but time and business constraints make my appearance there, especially with the necessary practice sessions, impossible to fulfill," Trump said. "I look forward to watching the race from New York."

Four-time race winner A.J. Foyt has since replaced Trump.

The 95th running of the 500-mile Indianapolis 500 begins Sunday at 12 p.m. ET. Television coverage begins on ABC at 11 a.m. ET

Added On May 27, 2011
Indy 500 champions Helio Castroneves, Mario Andretti and Rick Mears reflect on the magic of the Indianapolis 500.

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