Danica Patrick to Lead Indy 500 Field in Chevy Pace Car

Danica Patrick to Lead Indy 500 Field in Chevy Pace Car
Danica Patrick waits during qualifications for the IndyCar Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Ind., on May 20, 2018. (Darron Cummings/AP Photo)
The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS—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.

By Jenna Fryer