Our esteemed Editor-In-Chief Travis Okulski will be going to the Indianapolis 500 as usual this year. Good news! Travis’ personal nightmare and four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon will be driving the pace car, haunting Travis’ every thought from inside a beautiful white Corvette.
The Indianapolis 500 tends to produce the best looking Corvettes in history, and this Stormtrooper-esque white Z06 with black accents everywhere is no exception.
Gordon will certainly be riding in style in this 650-horsepower beast as he gives Travis uncomfortable flashbacks in the stands.
More importantly than the fact that Travis should try to hitch a terrifying, hilarious ride in the pace car is that the chance to drive the pace car means a lot to Gordon:
He’s the perfect choice to drive the pace car for the Indianapolis 500. Racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been one of the highlights of his career, and he’s beyond excited to drive this ‘Vette. Gordon explained to IMS:
Indy is hallowed ground for racers like me and I couldn’t be more thrilled to drive the Corvette Z06 pace car around the track that helped drive my success over the years. The Indianapolis 500 is one of the most celebrated races of the year and an event I always dreamed of racing while growing up in California and in nearby Pittsboro. I’ve won five NASCAR races at IMS and the track will always be a special place for me, so to be able to participate in such a historic day will be something I remember for the rest of my life.
In other words, “dude’s excited” would be a massive understatement.
It’s Gordon’s last year driving full-time in NASCAR, so driving the Indy 500 pace car and doing the Brickyard 400 in the same year are bound to make it extra special. According to Curt Cavin at the Indianapolis Star, Gordon originally aimed to drive in the Indianapolis 500, but was hired by a NASCAR team before he could get the chance to drive in IndyCar. He’s been dominant in NASCAR ever since, but has never gotten the chance to race in the Indianapolis 500.
“In my opinion, this ranks right up there with five Brickyard 400 (wins),” Gordon told the Indianapolis Star.
Cavin perhaps summed it up the best when he said, “In this year of driving retirement, no gift will mean more.”
Could retirement finally bring Gordon a Indianapolis 500 ride? Man, I hope so. I don’t think there’s a driver out there who’d be more excited about the chance to drive in that race.
Gordon will be doing a lot of driving on May 24. After driving the pace car in Indianapolis, he has to rush over to Charlotte to race that night in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Coca-Cola 600. Worth it? Worth it.
Photo credits: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
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