Earlier this month, it was announced that a 2021 C8 Corvette Convertible will serve as the official pace car of the 105th Indy 500. This marks the 18th time since 1978 that the American sports car has done pace car duty for the “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”, and the second time a C8 has been at the front of the grid. Thanks to the team over at NBC, we have finally learned who will be behind the wheel of the modified Chevrolet Corvette during the pace lap. That honor has been bestowed upon none other than Danica Patrick, former NASCAR and IndyCar racer and current studio analyst for NBC Sports.
“I am very honored to drive the Corvette Stingray Pace Car this year at the Indy 500,” said Patrick. “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.”
Patrick’s Indy 500 Career
Like the C8 Corvette, Danica Patrick is no stranger to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. During her rookie campaign in 2005, she led the Indy 500 for 19 laps before securing a fourth place finish. That feat would earn her the Indy 500 Rookie Of The Year award, which is certainly an accomplishment worth noting. Patrick would enter the race seven more times in her career, managing to take home a third place finish during the 2009 iteration of the race. That remains the best finish by any woman in the Indy 500’s long history. Her final start at the Brickyard came in 2018, before she left motorsports altogether. Over her time in IndyCar, Patrick secured seven podium finishes, including an overall win at the 2008 Indy Japan 300.
“We’re honored that Danica Patrick will pace the field at this year’s Indianapolis 500,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet Performance & Motorsports. “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.
The C8 Corvette Convertible Pace Car
The 2021 C8 Corvette Convertible pace car features Arctic White paint, offset by black convertible top and a ton of Indy 500-specific graphics. Black and yellow racing stripes go across the top of the Corvette, with the 105th Indy 500 logo we saw on the Camaro Festival Cars stuck to its flanks. Chevrolet also opted to equip this C8 Corvette pace car with the Z51 Performance Pack, as well as the optional 5VM aero kit and the High Wing Spoiler. Not wanting to spoil the looks of the sports car, the automaker also found creative ways to integrate all of the necessary safety lighting into existing parts of the bodywork. Overall, it’s a good looking pace car that we’re sure Danica Patrick will be proud to wheel around the famed circuit.
Following her duties in the C8 Corvette Convertible pace car, Patrick will join her colleagues Mike Tirico and Jimmie Johnson in the NBC broadcast booth at the event. It’ll be a busy day without a doubt, but we’re willing to bet she’d rather be out on the track. Either way, it’ll be nice to see Danica Patrick take on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway once again, even if it’s not for the full Indy 500. NBC’s coverage of the 105th Indy 500 go live on May 30 at 11 a.m. ET, starting with the pre-race show.