Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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April 2, 2014

Franchitti to drive 500 pace car

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti has been scheduled to drive a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 to pace the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25.

It’s the eighth time a Camaro has served as the pace car, starting in 1967, and the 25th time a Chevrolet has paced the race.

Franchitti won the Indy 500 in 2007, ‘10 and ‘12 and he is only the third driver ever to win at least three consecutive IndyCar titles — among four championships overall. Franchitti’s appearance in the Camaro Z/28 pace car signals a new start in his career as he embarks on a driver development role with Chip Ganassi Racing, which will use Chevrolet power in the 2014 IndyCar season.

“It’s great to have four-time IndyCar series champion and three-time Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti driving the 2014 Camaro Z/28 pace car,” Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports, said in a press release. “He is a true champion who has earned the respect and admiration of competitors and race fans alike. It will be very special to have Dario lead the field to the green flag at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

Franchitti said while he won’t be competing, this honor will make him feel a part of all that is happening on race day.

“It is a tremendous honor for me to be asked to drive the Pace Car for the Indianapolis 500,” he said. “As a historian of motorsport and as a three-time winner of this great race, I will appreciate every minute of getting to pace the field in the new 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. Although I won’t be competing in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, this will be as close as one person can get to the action. I can’t wait until May in Indianapolis.”

Chevrolet has a long-shared history with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis 500 and the Verizon IndyCar Series. Chevrolet was founded in 1911, the year of the inaugural 500-mile race, and the Chevrolet brothers — company co-founder Louis, Arthur and Gaston — all competed in early Indy 500 races. Arthur Chevrolet competed in the 1911 race and Gaston Chevrolet won it in 1920.

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