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Kevork Djansezian  /  AP file
Josh Duhamel, who will be in the movie “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” later this summer, is the latest Hollywood celebrity to drive the pace car.
updated 5/22/2009 7:42:12 PM ET 2009-05-22T23:42:12

Turns out actor Josh Duhamel doesn’t excel in the fast lane, at least not in Indianapolis.

When the 2009 Indy 500 pace-car driver took reporters around the 2.5-mile oval Friday, he didn’t exactly floor it.

“Let’s see what I can do,” he said during one of the runs. “One-oh-six. Coach (Johnny) Rutherford is going to bench me.”

That’s because the three-time Indy 500 winner and race organizers want him to hit 120 mph coming out of the fourth turn on Sunday as he leads the field to the start-finish line.

Duhamel, who will be in the movie “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” later this summer, is the latest Hollywood celebrity to drive the pace car. Others included Jay Leno, James Garner, Anthony Edwards and Patrick Dempsey.

Dempsey’s a serious, if part-time, sports car racer. Emerson Fittipaldi, last year’s pace-car driver, won Indy twice.

Duhamel? He’s used to sitting in traffic in Los Angeles.

So driving at Indy has been a difficult transition.

“It takes everything I have to slow down in the turns because there are so many G-forces,” he said. “This is a lot more responsibility than I thought it was, so I’m taking it pretty serious. But it is a lot of fun.”

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