Jeff Gordon will be back behind the wheel of a Chevrolet at this year’s Brickyard 400, but it won’t be one of the Hendrick Motorsports cars.
Gordon will drive the 2017 Chevy Camaro ZL1 Pace Car to kick off the race when the Monster Energy Cup Series heads to Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 23, he announced Thursday in a press release.
This interestingly will be the first time the 45-year-old won’t race in the event since his retirement in 2015. Gordon wasn’t expected to compete in the race in 2016, but was brought in to replace Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was out with a concussion at the time.
“It’s hard to believe this is the 24th running of the Brickyard 400,” Gordon said. “This has been a very special race over the years — for me and NASCAR. Winning at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a dream of mine as a kid. I’m excited to lead the field to green at this year’s Brickyard 400, and I appreciate Doug Boles and Chevrolet for giving me this opportunity.”
That will be something of a role reversal for Gordon, who has plenty of experience at IMS leading the field to the checkered flag, rather than the green flag. Now an analyst for FOX Sports, Gordon is the winningest NASCAR driver in the 400 with four wins throughout his 22-year Cup career.
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images