Danica Patrick is back in the Indy 500 and will drive the pace car. The former NASCAR and IndyCar star showed off the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray pace car ahead of the Indianapolis 500, and it’s the first time Patrick has driven on the track since retiring from racing in 2018. Patrick said she was a little nervous about starting the Indy 500.
“I am very honored to be able to drive the pace car in the Indy 500 this year,” said Patrick in a press release from the Indianapolis Star. Patrick will also be the studio analyst for the live race broadcast which airs on NBC. Mike Tirico and NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson will be on the show with Patrick. “It’s even more special because of the last year we all went through and it will be so nice to see the fans in the stands again,” said Patrick. “I’ve always loved Chevy vehicles and the Corvette convertible is such a beautiful car. Maybe they’ll let me drive home! “
Leads the # Indy500 field to the green flag. @DanicaPatrick is our # TeamChevy # Corvette Pace Car driver. pic.twitter.com/uxea1a7fMt
– Team Chevy (@TeamChevy) May 30, 2021
Patrick is no stranger to the Indianapolis 500 as she has attended the event eight times. She made a lot of noise on her Indy 500 debut, starting and ending in fourth place. Patrick achieved top 10 finishes in 2005 and 2006 and had her highest ranking (third place) in 2009.
“We are excited to welcome Danica to the place where she made motorsport history as the first female driver to lead ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’,” said IMS President Doug Boles. “It will give NBC viewers a unique perspective while behind the wheel of the powerful Corvette Stingray Convertible.”
Patrick’s last race was the Indy 500 in 2018 but couldn’t finish the event because her car crashed halfway through. In 2019, Patrick was asked if she’s missed racing since calling it a career. “No. No, I don’t. I’m really honest,” Patrick told the Associated Press. “I’m not someone who looks back on things and has a lot of regrets. I really am not. Whenever someone asks me if I am Could change something, what would I change? Well, I’m just not the kind of person who really thinks that way, you know, I’ve been driving it for 27 years and life is so short and there is so much to experience and so much I’ve spent a lot of time racing and now I can do other things. “