clear
Saturday February 13th, 2016 2:23PM

Franchitti to drive pace car for Indianapolis 500

By The Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS - Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will drive the pace car in the 98th running of the Indy 500 in May.

Franchitti was forced to retire in November from injuries suffered in an October IndyCar race at Houston. The four-time series champion won the Indy 500 in 2007, 2010 and 2012.

"It is a tremendous honor for me to be asked to drive the pace car for the Indianapolis 500," said Franchitti. "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. 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."

Franchitti will pace the field in the May 25 race in a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. It's the eighth time a Camaro has served as the pace car, and the 25th time a Chevrolet has paced the race.

"He is a true champion who has earned the respect and admiration of competitors and race fans alike," said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports. "It will be very special to have Dario lead the field to the green flag at Indianapolis Motor Speedway."

Franchitti's appearance as the pace car driver signifies a huge shift in Franchitti's career. He's moved into a driver development role with Chip Ganassi Racing, which switched to Chevrolet for the 2014 IndyCar season.

Chevrolet has a long history with Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis 500 and the 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.

"We are excited to see Dario Franchitti back at the Brickyard, where he has had a very successful driving career," said Doug Boles, president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "Not only will his appearance in the Camaro Z/28 pace car thrill race fans, it underscores Chevrolet's important place in the past, present and future of the Indianapolis 500."
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 1 year ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 1 year ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 1 year ago )
Sports
Pits will be tight as Chili Bowl entry count hits 316
TULSA, OK - The 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire is on track to be a record smashing event, with the entry count climbing over the 300 mark for the first time to 316 entries confirming 303 drivers for the indoor spectacular happening Tuesday, January 13 through Saturday, January 17 at the Tulsa Expo Center in Tulsa, OK.
9:59AM ( 1 year ago )
Falcons fire Mike Smith after 2nd straight losing season
Mike Smith's status as the winningest coach in Falcons history wasn't enough to save his job. Owner Arthur Blank said he fired Smith on Monday because in his "heart of hearts" he didn't believe Smith could take the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
7:58PM ( 1 year ago )
New promoters in place for 2015 at Senoia Raceway
SENOIA, GA - Lease papers have been signed and a team of new promoters is in place for the upcoming stock car racing season at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, GA.
6:00AM ( 1 year ago )
Professional Sports
Garbo, Jr. to compete in NASCAR K&N East with Whelen sponsorship
CHARLOTTE, NC--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- When Marsh Racing and longtime team sponsor Whelen Engineering Company, Inc. got the opportunity to put together a race team for 2015, they looked closely at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
12:00PM ( 1 year ago )
Former NASCAR racer pleads guilty in high-speed chase
ST. GEORGE, UT (AP)
12:51PM ( 1 year ago )
Chili Bowl entry list again nearing record 300 mark
TULSA, OK - For the past couple years, the entry list for the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals has flirted with the 300 mark. Once again, the number of teams registering for the indoor Midget event is nearing the three century mark with 285 entries received for the 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.
11:59AM ( 1 year ago )
NASCAR News
Basketball: Championship Saturday slate full for northeast Georgia regions
Friday's semifinals produced some memorable results and has area high school basketball fans looking forward to Saturday's championship contests.
5:47PM ( 3 hours from now )
Wrestling: 35 area grapplers will try to pin down state titles
It promises to be a busy day Saturday for northeast Georgia wrestlers as nearly three dozen grapplers will try to pin state titles at the Infinite Energy Center in Gwinnett County.
By AccessWDUN Staff
5:23PM ( 2 hours from now )
(VIDEO) 7-AAA Tournament: Lumpkin boys, West Hall girls set up historic shot; Vikings win at buzzer
Saturday's Region 7-AAA championship games will have a hard time living up to Friday's semifinals...
12:06PM ( 2 hours ago )
8-AAAAA Tournament: Branch girls, GHS boys advance to finals; Lady Elephants fall in semis
Courtney Newton’s return home couldn’t be going any better...
11:51AM ( 2 hours ago )
(VIDEO) 8-AAAA Tournament: North Hall, Buford boys set for title showdown; Lady Wolves roll
Buford basketball swept into the championship round, while the North Hall boys also reached the title game in Friday's Region 8-AAAA tournament contests in Toccoa.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:46AM ( 2 hours ago )