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Sunday, February 24, 2013
Willie Robertson, James Franco at Daytona

By Lynn Hoppes

Robertson
Kay Robertson, Willie Robertson and Korie Robertson show up at the Daytona 500 on Sunday.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer last fall made an appearance on "Duck Dynasty," A&E's No. 1 rated show, which features the eccentric Robertson family in Louisiana.

Bowyer visited the Duck Commander warehouse, which makes duck calls, and got into a drag-race showdown with CEO Willie Robertson in tricked-out camouflage limousines.

On Sunday, as guests of Bowyer, Robertson returned the favor, appearing at the Daytona 500 with his wife, Korie, and his mother, Kay Robertson.

After losing the camo limousine race on TV, Robertson claims that he and Bowyer continued racing after the cameras were turned off.

"I fared pretty well. That's all I'm going to say," Robertson said. "That's behind the scenes and I'll just leave it at that!"

So, this past week, Bowyer suggested that they compete on the NASCAR track at Daytona International Speedway.

"Clint called me up and said, 'You want to race these cars?'" Robertson said. "After riding with him for one lap, I said, 'No way!'"

"Duck Dynasty" is back this Wednesday on A&E, as Robertson said, "with more explosions, more crazy Uncle Si and a few more tips on how to raise teenagers in this crazy world."

Robertson's wife Korie chimed in: "Oh, and Willie does yoga. That'll be interesting for you to see."

Robertson: "So you had to bring that up?"



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James Franco
Actor James Franco had a special introduction for Danica Patrick on Sunday.
Actor James Franco was in town to say "Gentlemen, start your engines" and promote his new movie called "Oz," the prequel to the "Wizard of Oz" in March.

Before the race, Franco said, "With Danica in such an important position, I just might have to change up those famous four words."

In fact, he did. He said, "Drivers and Danica, start your engines!"

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Two-time Super Bowl winner Ray Lewis, rapper 50 Cent, NFL star Wes Welker, comedian Bill Bellamy and University of South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier also were in attendance at Sunday's race. And country singer Justin Moore and the Zac Brown Band performed.

"With a couple hundred thousand people there, that helps give you energy for the show," Brown said. "We were there to whoop them into a frenzy."

Brown, who grew up driving his dad's pickup truck, is working with NASCAR driver Carl Edwards to soup up his own swamp buggy.

"I'm always fascinated by cars, and now he and I are looking for an engine for this buggy," Brown said. "That will be a lot of fun."

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The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds were unable to perform their signature flyover before the race because of bad weather. The Federal Aviation Administration regulations dictate that flyovers only be conducted when the cloud ceiling is at 1,500 feet above the crowd. The ceiling Sunday afternoon was below 1,200 feet.

"Nobody wanted to fly over that speedway today more than we did," Lt. Col. Greg Moseley, Thunderbirds commander and lead pilot, said in a statement. "We cherish the opportunity to be a part of 'The Great American Race', but safety is always our first priority."