James Franco could have used a retake. (John Raoux / AP)

In fairness to James Franco, the traditional Daytona 500-opening phrase, “Gentlemen, start your engines,” doesn’t really work, what with Danica Patrick in the pole position and all.

It desperately needed a rewrite and, presumably, got one. So Franco probably meant to say, “Gentlemen and Danica” or “Drivers,” but, like hosting the Oscars, this is a tricky gig. And what came out was all wrong.

When Franco’s big moment came, he said, “Drivers and Danica, start your engines.”

Maybe they should have brought in Anne Hathaway to help him.

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