Jeff Gordon never got a chance to run in the Indianapolis 500, but the Hendrick Motorsports driver will get the chance to pace the field next month. On Wednesday, Gordon announced that he will be driving a Corvette Z06 pace car for the start of the Indianapolis 500.
He’ll then board a flight for Charlotte to race in the Coca-Cola 600. It’s not quite the same feat pulled off by other drivers like Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart, but Gordon is excited to be a part of the illustrious race.
“This is my version of the double,” Gordon said during a press conference at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “… I don’t know how it gets any better than that.”
One of the highlights of Gordon’s illustrious career was winning the inaugural Brickyard 400 back in 1994. Since that point, he’s won four more at IMS to hold the record for a NASCAR driver at five wins.
“Jeff Gordon is a NASCAR legend, an icon of global motorsports and has a special history of success racing at The Brickyard in Indianapolis and the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte,” NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France said. “This is a unique honor for him to be recognized in this way by our partners at Chevrolet and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The day certainly will be another special one in the storied history that Jeff already has written at Indianapolis and Charlotte.”
Nascarcasm also gave his take on who the backup driver for Gordon might be.
— nascarcasm (@nascarcasm) April 29, 2015
Though Gordon was born in Vallejo, California, he was raised in Pittsboro, Indiana to have the opportunity to race as a young driver. But before he could ever get started with IndyCar or Formula One, he was snatched up by Rick Hendrick. The rest, as they say, is history.
It will be an arduous task for Gordon to accomplish the feat on May 24, but it will be one he’ll never forget. One thing’s for sure: In Gordon’s final season, he’s soaking it all up.
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