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The 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport will serve as the official pace car for the 2017 Indianapolis 500, marking the 14th time that a Corvette has led the Indy field with 2017 being the 101st running of the legendary race. Reports Patrick Rall from TorqueNews.

Early last month, we brought you the news of the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible serving as the Festival Car for the 2017 Indianapolis 500, but it will be a new Chevrolet Corvette which leads the Indy 500 field to the green flag when the race takes place on May 28th. To be exact, the track-ready Corvette Grand Sport, which incorporates handling bits of the Z06 with the drivetrain of the Stingray for an “affordable” road-handling monster.

“Chevrolet is proud to once again pace the Indianapolis 500,” said Steve Majoros, marketing director for Cars and Crossovers. “The Corvette Grand Sport’s performance capability and motorsports heritage make it the perfect choice to pace the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

The 14th Corvette Indy Pace Car
When the C7 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport leads the 2017 Indy 500 field to the green flag, it will mark the 14th time that the race has been paced by a Corvette. The first Indy 500 Corvette pace car hit the track back in 1978, when a C3 Corvette led the field. The C4 Corvette was the Indy 500 Pace Car twice (1986, 1995), the C5 Corvette was the Indy 500 Pace Car three times (1998, 2002, 2004), the C6 Corvette was the pace car five times (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012) and with the 2017 running, the C7 Corvette will have been the pace car three times (also in 2013 and 2015).
 

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I've always assumed the auto manufacturers pay for the privilege of advertising their cars at the Indy 500. Anyone know for sure?
 

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The Pace Car will be driven by Walking Dead's Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Wonder what his Corvette or his driving experience is...

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CorvetteBlogger said:
The Walking Dead’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan to Drive the Corvette Pace Car at the Indy 500(By Keith Cornett)

Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays the bad guy known as “Negan” on AMC’s “The Walking Dead” TV show, has officially been tapped to drive the 2017 Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car at the 101st Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.

Morgan has received accolades for his performance in The Walking Dead, earning the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series as well as the MTV Movie & TV Award for Best Villain in 2017.

“We’re honored to welcome Jeffrey Dean Morgan to IMS to drive the 2017 Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “He’s used to playing the ultimate villain in ‘The Walking Dead,’ but he’ll be an envied hero to millions of race fans around the world when he gets to lead the field to the green flag of the 101st Indianapolis 500 in such a beautiful Corvette.”

Morgan has also appeared in more than 25 movies including “The Watchman”, “Batman v. Superman”, “The Losers” and “Desierto” to name a few.

Interestingly, Jeffrey Dean Morgan is the second actor from the ABC TV show “Grey’s Anatomy” to drive a Corvette Pace Car at the Indianapolis 500, following in the footsteps of Patrick Dempsey who paced the field in 2007.

The Corvette Grand Sport that will be driven by Morgan is powered by the 460-horsepower LT1 and features the Z07 performance package. In addition to the Arctic White Exterior with the Blue stripe and Red/Blue livery, the Indy 500 Pace Car also features some unique touches like the red striping on the aero bits and the body color rear spoiler.

This is the 14th time that a Corvette has paced the Indianapolis 500, the most of any car.

Source:
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
http://www.corvetteblogger.com/2017...ews_lifestyle_daily_recap&utm_term=2017-05-26
 

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Nothing on Wikipedia or IMDB about Morgan having a racing background (unlike Patrick Dempsey who has extensive experience in racing sport cars and was a co-owner of an Indy Car team).
 

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The major pace car crash was in 1971, when it crashed into the photographers stand. That driver was a car dealer. After that, they said that future pace car drivers would be retired race drivers or others similarly qualified. But, the people who made that rule are probably all retired or deceased, and memories of 1971 are now faded.

 

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It would be cool to lead the field in a C7 Masterpiece GS at Indy, but there would be a problem if I had the opportunity I would want to stay out on the track to take a few laps with the racers.

SF
Rick
 
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