Affleck Still in the Race with Lopez

12/17/2003 AT 01:55 AM EST

Ben Affleck may be the grand marshal at next year's Daytona 500, but the actor says he's through with play-by-play coverage of his revved-up romance with Jennifer Lopez.

Affleck, 31, who's making the media rounds to promote his new movie "Paycheck," told Diane Sawyer on ABC's "Good Morning America" that he and Lopez are still very much an item, despite the cancellation of their September wedding.

"Jennifer Lopez and I are going to take our life at our own pace," he told Sawyer. "And we're going to make the decision that's right for us. And we're going to do it in a private way."

As for the couple's high, high profile: "I think we made a mistake, Jen and I. I think maybe because we were happy, having fun, enjoying our lives," Affleck told Sawyer.

He added: "I think we were too available. And we may not have been guarded enough, I don't know. But I think I'm probably not going to talk about whether or not I'm getting married on television."

Instead, it looks like Affleck is heading to the Daytona International Speedway, where on Feb. 15 the actor and NASCAR fan will kick off the race with the traditional command to the 43-car field: "Gentlemen, start your engines."

"He will fit in perfectly with the great American race," Speedway spokesman David Talley tells the Associated Press. (Last year, John Travolta opened the race.)

"He is delighted," Affleck spokesman Ken Sunshine told AP.

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