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2019 Corvette ZR-1 — Chevy’s fastest ever — named pace car for this year’s Indianapolis 500

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For more than 100 years, the Indianapolis 500 has been the epitome of the word “fast.”

So it goes to reason that the car that will pace this year’s Greatest Spectacle In Racing will be, well … fast, fast and fast.

Oh, and did we mention fast?

Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced today that the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, one of the fastest production cars made, will pace the 2018 Indy 500.

How fast is it, you ask?

The ZR1 accelerates from 0-60 mph in 2.85 seconds and reaches a top speed of 212 mph, making it the fastest Corvette in history. That’s just 20 mph less than the qualifying speed for last year’s Indy 500 of 232.164 mph by Scott Dixon.

It marks the 15th Corvette since 1978 to pace the world’s biggest race, with the 102nd Running of the Indy 500 being held on May 27th. No other model of car has paced more editions of the 500.

It’s also the 29th time a Chevrolet has led the field, starting in 1948 when the Chevy Fleetmaster Six convertible.

“Chevrolet is proud to once again pace the Indianapolis 500,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet marketing director for Cars and Crossovers. “The ZR1 is the most powerful and fastest Corvette ever made. It’s the perfect choice to pace ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.'”

The 2019 Corvette ZR1 Pace Car features:

  • LT5 small block 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine with 755-hp and 715 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 8-speed 8L90 paddle-shift automatic transmission
  • ZTK Performance Package, which features a stanchion-mounted adjustable carbon-fiber high rear wing, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and performance suspension
  • Magnetic Selective Ride Control.
  • Brembo Carbon Ceramic brake system
  • ZR1 chrome-aluminum wheels: 19-inch front and 20-inch rear
  • Standard Performance Traction Management and Electronic Limited-Slip Differential
  • Unique Indy 500 graphics package
  • GM Design fully-integrated safety strobe system
  • Performance Data and Video Recorder

At Thursday’s announcement, all 15 Corvettes that have paced or will pace the famous race were on display.

“Chevrolet and IMS enjoy one of the longest-running and strongest bonds in motorsports,” IMS president J. Douglas Boles said. “Seeing all of the incredible Corvettes that have paced the Indianapolis 500 on track today is an exciting reminder of the rich history of this great relationship.

“This year’s Pace Car, the 2019 Corvette ZR1, is an incredible, fast machine that is a perfect fit to lead the ‘500’ field to the green flag.”

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IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.