Verizon IndyCar Series has fans among field of celebrity Golden Globe nominees

Published On January 8, 2016 » 4674 Views» By Cathy Kightlinger »

When the 73rd Golden Globe Awards air Sunday night, Verizon IndyCar Series fans might get a little nostalgic, recalling the show’s stars intersecting with the racing paddock.

Atop the list of pleasant memories from last year’s season is nominee Sir Patrick Stewart’s appearance as the grand marshal of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Dressed elegantly, the British actor – best known for his portrayal of the ethical Captain Jean-Luc Picard in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” –belted the traditional race-day command, telling drivers to start their engines, in Shakespearian voice.

On stage before the start of the race, Stewart looked to be having a good time. But he commented that he’d rather be racing with Verizon IndyCar Series drivers that day and noted that he could easily beat them because the key to success in racing is arrogance. He does have some experience – in 2002 he took a turn behind the wheel during the Pro/Celebrity Race that runs on Long Beach race weekend.

Good luck to Stewart, who is nominated for Best Actor in a Comedy for “Blunt Talk” and we’ll hope to see him back in Long Beach when we’re racing on April 17.

Another of INDYCAR’s celebrity friends likely to show up at the Golden Globes is A-lister Will Smith, who portrayed a con man in last year’s “Focus.” In the stylish Warner Bros. Pictures film, Smith and co-star Margot Robbie are embroiled in a racing-centered double-cross that featured Verizon IndyCar Series cars driven by Carlos Munoz and team owner Bryan Herta as a backdrop. The scenes were shot at NOLA Motorsports Park, across the Mississippi River from New Orleans.

To celebrate the release of the movie, Verizon IndyCar Series drivers attended screenings around the country and, on the red carpet in Hollywood outside of the premiere of the film, Smith called the Indy cars “fantastic.”

Will Smith, who is nominated for a Golden Globe Award in the Best Actor in a Comedy category, also starred in 2015's "Focus," which featured IndyCars in its plot.

Will Smith, who is nominated for a Golden Globe Award in the Best Actor in a Comedy category, also starred in 2015’s “Focus,” which featured IndyCars in its plot.

Good luck to Smith, who is nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama (“Concussion”). We’d love to see him May 29 at the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, a good race to bet on.

Sylvester Stallone is nominated, too. This weekend, Sly is vying for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture (“Creed”) against Paul Dano (“Love & Mercy”), Idris Elba (“Beasts of No Nation”), Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”) and Michael Shannon (“99 Homes”).

Stallone is likely in a better mood – having just successfully revisited his most famous character, Rocky Balboa, for “Creed” – than he was in 2001 after his Indy car feature, “Driven,” was released. Stallone, who wrote the screenplay and starred in “Driven” as aging racer Joe Tanto, has apparently said he now regrets making the film, which has found its way onto lists of the worst racing films ever made. Ever.

Despite that, we applaud the effort. And Stallone looked so good in his firesuit that racing karma will probably be on his side Sunday.

Sylvester Stallone, who is nominated for a Golden Globe in the Best Supporting Actor category for the film "Creed," also starred in the widely-panned Indy car-themed feature, "Driven," in 2001.

Sylvester Stallone, who is nominated for a Golden Globe in the Best Supporting Actor category for the film “Creed,” also starred in the widely-panned Indy car-themed feature, “Driven,” in 2001.

About The Author

Cathy Kightlinger

Cathy Kightlinger began telling stories about Verizon IndyCar Series drivers and their families in 2010 while writing a culture column for The Indianapolis Star. She loves open-wheel racing, popular culture and lifestyle news so she joined the IndyCar staff in 2014 to combine all of those interests. Her blog, #TrackChat, will tell you what happens when drivers get out of their race cars – what they wear, listen to, eat, read, and more. She lives in Indianapolis.
0 comments