Jeff Gordon has quite a history in Indianapolis. He grew up in nearby Pittsboro, Indiana and is the only driver to win the Brickyard 400 five times. To say he is familiar with the place would be a huge understatement. Now he gets to return to the track in an unfamiliar role: Pace car driver. While he wont be hitting the speeds he is used to around the famous Indy track, he will definitely not get lost.
It is the 24th running of the race, so the former pilot of the #24 car was a natural choice. Per NASCAR.com, Gordon was happy to be given another chance to drive at such an important track, saying:
“This has been a very special race over the years – for me and NASCAR. Winning at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a dream of mine as a kid. I’m excited to lead the field to green at this year’s Brickyard 400, and I appreciate Doug Boles and Chevrolet for giving me this opportunity.”
IMS President J. Douglas Boles will be happy to see him out there as well.
“Jeff Gordon is one of the greatest drivers to ever compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and we’re honored to welcome him back to pace the 24th annual Brickyard 400,” Boles said. “It’s only fitting Jeff will be out front and leading, a place where the fans of this great race are accustomed to seeing him.”
To celebrate Chevrolet’s relationship with the track, Gordon will be driving a 2017 Camaro ZL1. Chevy was founded the same year of the first Indy 500 in 1911 and is the winningest manufacturer at the Brickyard 400, having over five times as many victories as any other manufacturer with 16.
While it is no stock car, the ZL1 uses 650 horsepower and a 10 speed auto to get to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. Surely that will be enough for Gordon to have fun out there for at least one more time.