It was announced yesterday that former IndyCar and NASCAR trailblazer Danica Patrick will not be driving in the field of 33 drivers for the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 30th. Instead, Patrick will be leading the field driving the official Corvette pace car.
Not only will Patrick be driving the pace car this year, but she’ll be serving as a live studio analyst alongside sportscaster, Mike Tirico, and former NASCAR driver, Jimmie Johnson.
In a news release on Tuesday, Danica Patrick said, “I am very honored to drive the Corvette Stingray pace car this year at the Indy 500. 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.”
Patrick ran the Indianapolis 500 from 2005-2011 and in 2018. Almost no one can forget her rookie season in 2005 when she was the first female ever to lead a lap at the Indy 500 and led a total of 19 laps that year finishing in fourth place. In 2009, she beat her previous record and finished third. Overall, she holds the record for the most laps ever led by a woman at the Indy 500 with a total of 29 laps.
Patrick was a marketing powerhouse that brought masses of sponsors and eyeballs to the sport that wouldn’t have otherwise tuned in. Not only is she a marketing dream, but she is what the gentlemen would refer to as a complete dime piece, a baddie, if you will.
In case you live under a rock and forgot what she looks like. Start your engines.