NASCAR legend and NBC Sports motorsports analyst Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive the 2019 Corvette Grand Sport Official Pace Car for the 103rd Indianapolis 500, the Speedway announced Friday. The announcement means that Earnhardt will perform a dual role for the event, also serving as an NBC Sports commentator for the network’s first live Indy 500 telecast.
“I was already excited to attend my first Indianapolis 500 with NBC Sports, but driving the pace car just takes it to another level,” Earnhardt said. “The Corvette Grand Sport is an awesome car, and it’s an honor to be asked to lead the field to the green flag.
“I’m proud to be a part of such a prestigious event at a place that means so much to racing history. This will be an experience that I’ll cherish forever.”
This will be the second time Earnhardt has led the field to the green flag of a major race at IMS. He also drove the pace car at last September’s Brickyard 400.
“It is exciting that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is going to lead the Indy 500 field to the green flag,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports. “With Dale joining the Indy 500 broadcast crew for the first time, pacing the field in the 2019 Corvette Grand Sport will give him a unique perspective to share with the viewers. We are honored that Dale will add Indy 500 Pace Car driver to his long legacy with Chevrolet.”
This year marks the 16th time a Corvette has served as the Indianapolis 500 pace car, starting in 1978, and the 30th time a Chevrolet has led the field dating back to 1948, when a 1948 Fleetmaster Six convertible paced the race. No other brand or vehicle has served as the “500” pace car more than Chevrolet and the Corvette, respectively.