Mexican actor Jaime Camil admitted he was a little jealous when his friend was asked to be the grand marshal of a NASCAR event in California.
So, the Golden Globe nominee was thrilled when Phoenix International Raceway invited him to lead the charge for its Can-Am 5000 semifinal race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday, November 12.
“I am really excited to say the most famous words in motorsports,” said the effervescent Camil. “I’ve become such a fan over the years and being able to take part in the NASCAR Playoffs is going to be an amazing experience.”
Camil, who stars as Rogelio de la Vega on CW’s Jane the Virgin, explained NASCAR is an organization he respects because it treats its fans well.
“I don’t think I’ve worked with an organization that is so devoted to their fans,” Camil said. “It’s so cool.”
In preparation for his famous line—“Gentlemen, start your engines!”—Camil has been studying NASCAR history.
“I think what NASCAR is doing, their efforts in bringing the sport more diversity and more inclusion is amazing,” he said. “You would think NASCAR appeals to a certain demographic. I love what they’re doing. They’re very aware about what’s happening in this country and the diversity that makes this country so great.
“They’re including more people in the sport. We have to thank them for that.”
There’s more to Camil than Jane the Virgin. Previously, he spent 20 years in Mexico as a TV host, actor and singer. He has several platinum albums, and two of his singles landed in the Top 25 on the Billboard charts. He voices the character Mo for the toy Osmo, and later this month he can be heard as Papá in the Disney/Pixar animated movie Coco.
“The movie has broken records in Mexico,” he said. “It’s beautiful. It’s so special for so many reasons.
“It touches the Dia de los Muertos, which is so important for Mexico and the Mexican culture. They did such an amazing job in really getting the facts right.
“Then, to be a permanent part of Pixar’s history is incredible. This movie will never die. Pixar movies never go away. It’s incredibly humbling.”
Tickets to all events throughout the Can-Am 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekend, Friday, November 10, to Sunday, November 12, at Phoenix International Raceway are available online at PhoenixRaceway.com, by phone at 1-866-408-RACE (7223) or in person at the Phoenix Raceway ticket office, 7602 S. Avondale Boulevard, Avondale.