Danica Patrick to drive pace car for 105th Indy 500

Sports

WATKINS GLEN, NY – AUGUST 06: Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 Aspen Dental Ford, stands on the grid during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series I Love NY 355 at The Glen at Watkins Glen International on August 6, 2017 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Danica Patrick will be on the track at the Indianapolis 500, at the front of the field once again.

Patrick was announced Wednesday as the pace car driver for IndyCar’s marquee event. She will drive a 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray hardtop convertible to lead the field to green on May 30.

It will be the first Corvette convertible since 2008 to pace “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

“I have always loved Chevy vehicles, and the Corvette convertible is such a beautiful car,” Patrick said. “Maybe they will let me drive it home.”

Patrick as a rookie in 2005 became the first woman to lead laps in the Indianapolis 500. Her third-place finish four years later was the highest for a woman in the history of Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

She has since retired from racing — her 30th-place finish in the 2018 race was her final start — but Patrick returns to NBC’s broadcast crew for the event for the third consecutive year.

Chevrolet and Corvette have led the starting field more than any other manufacturer and nameplate. The 2021 race marks the 32nd time Chevrolet will pace the field dating to 1948. It it the 18th race since 1978 the Corvette was selected.

Chevrolet was founded in 1911, the year of the inaugural 500-mile race. Company co-founder Louis Chevrolet, along with brothers Arthur and Gaston, were drivers, and Arthur entered the first Indy 500. Gaston Chevrolet won in 1920.

Chevrolet-powered teams have won 11 Indy 500’s with nine different drivers.

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