Wilmington, NC- The 61st running of the Daytona 500 is quickly approaching just days away! One of the most sought out sporting events of all time, the Daytona 500 will be held on February 17th.
In a unique start this year’s Daytona 500 will feature the 2019 Silverado 1500 as the official pace vehicle. This is the first time a pick-up truck will serve as the pace car in the Daytona 500, with two-time Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the driver’s seat.
Honored to pace the Daytona 500 in the Silverado 1500, Earnhardt Jr. said (as cited by Motor Authority, 2018) “Away from the track I’ve driven Chevy trucks all my life, and I’m excited to have this unique experience of pacing the Daytona 500 with the Silverado.” Earnhardt Jr. is a member of the Hendrick Motorsports family, and retired from racing in 2017. Earnhardt Jr. is now a race analyst for the NBCUniversal, and owner of JR Motorsports.
Under the Hood– Although the Silverado 1500 lacks the appearance of a traditional race car, under the hood it features a 6.2-litre V8 with 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, packing a punch close in line with the Chevy Camaro.
Our very own Jeff Gordon will be commentating the Daytona 500 on Fox Sports. Gordon has won three Daytona 500’s 1997, 1999 and 2005. In 2015 Gordon’s final year of racing he won the pole at the Daytona 500, then in 2017 Gordon was the honorary pace car driver for the Daytona 500.
Although this is the first time for a pick-up truck to pace the Daytona 500, Chevrolet has been in the spotlight before pacing the “Great American Race” a total of 12 times; 5 of those times were with a Corvette, and 7 with a Camaro.