INDIANAPOLIS — Danica Patrick has been named the pace car driver for the 105th Indy 500.
The first woman to lead the Indy 500 will lead the field of 33 to the green flag May 30 (11 a.m. ET, NBC) in a mid-engine Arctic White Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible, the first Corvette convertible to pace the Greatest Spectacle in Racing since 2008.
Patrick led 19 laps and finished fourth as a rookie in the 2005 Indy 500. She made eight starts in the race, finishing a career-best third in 2009 (the best result for a woman at Indy). After moving to NASCAR full time in 2012, Patrick returned in 2018 for a final start at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
MONTH OF MAY SCHEDULE: When cars are on track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
“I am very honored to drive the Corvette Stingray Pace Car this year at the Indy 500,” Patrick said in a release. “It is even more special because of the past year we have all endured, and it will be so nice to see fans back in the stands. I’m also excited to again be a part of the NBC broadcast team for the race.
“I have always loved Chevy vehicles, and the Corvette convertible is such a beautiful car. Maybe they will let me drive it home!”
Patrick also will be working as an NBC Sports studio analyst during the race with co-host Mike Tirico and analyst and seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson.
“We’re happy to welcome back Danica to the place where she made motorsports history as the first female driver to lead ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’ ” IMS president J. Douglas Boles said. “She will provide a unique perspective for NBC viewers while behind the wheel of the powerful Corvette Stingray convertible.”
The 2021 race will be the 32nd time for a Chevrolet pace car dating to 1948 and the 18th for the Corvette.
“We’re honored that Danica Patrick will pace the field at this year’s Indianapolis 500,” Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet Performance & Motorsports, said in a release. “It’s going to be great to see Danica back at the Speedway that she knows so well, behind the wheel of our 2021 Corvette convertible.”
Country music star Jimmie Allen recently was announced as the race’s national anthem singer.