Jeff Gordon to Drive Indy 500 Pace Car
It’s official. Indiana racing legend Jeff Gordon will jumpstart the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 by driving a Chevy Corvette Z06 pace car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 43-year-old NASCAR legend will hit the famous 2.5-mile oval on May 24th, a track Gordon is very used to, claiming five Brickyard victories over his impressive career, the last in 2014. “ Indy is hallowed ground for racers like me,” Gordon said, “and I couldn’t be more thrilled to drive the Corvette Z06 pace car around the track that helped drive my success over the years.”
Gordon, who grew up not too far down the road from the track in Pittsboro, Indiana, goes on to discuss his relationship with the famed race: “The Indianapolis 500 is one of the most celebrated races of the year and an event I always dreamed of racing while growing up in California and in nearby Pittsboro. I’ve won five NASCAR races at IMS and the track will always be a special place for me, so to be able to participate in such a historic day will be something I remember for the rest of my life.”
Too, Corvette has had quite a decorated relationship with the Indianapolis 500, having served as the race’s pace care more than any other vehicle in Indy history. Jeff Gordon’s drive will be the 13th time a Corvette has been the Indianapolis 500’s official pace car, dating back to 1978. “Jeff is a great choice to lead this year’s starting 33 drivers in the Indianapolis 500 to the green flag,” said J. Douglas Boles, president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “Jeff has such a strong connection to the state of Indiana and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and his appearance in the Corvette Z06 pace car reinforces Chevrolet’s important place in the past, present, and future of the Indianapolis 500. We also look forward to seeing him back here on July 26, to see if he can make it six wins in the Crown Royal 4000 at the Brickyard.”
And Gordon’s Corvette Z06 is certainly an amazing machine! With 650 supercharged horsepower, a seven-speed manual transmission, and a track-capable chassis system, Gordon will have no problem getting around the famed track with ease. And, if you like what you see, the only thing that separates Gordon’s Corvette Z06 from production models are its unique Indy graphics package and safety strobe lights.
All in all, Gordon will certainly make Chevrolet proud. “It’s great to have Jeff Gordon serve as this year’s pace car driver,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports. “He is a true champion who has earned the respect and admiration of competitors and race fans alike. It will be very special to have Jeff lead the Indy 500 field to the green flag, behind the wheel of the most powerful and capable production car ever from Chevrolet — on a day he’ll also be competing in the Coca Cola 600 NASCAR race at Charlotte.”
Race fans interested in following Jeff Gordon and his Corvette Z06 pace car experience on Twitter at #JGPace2Race. In the meantime, come to Apple Chevrolet, your Chicagoland Chevy dealer, to test drive one of our new Corvette models.