Indianapolis 500 Live: The 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500. Held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana, the competition is considered to be the most prestigious race on the IndyCar circuit and one of the three races that makes up motorsport’s Triple Crown.
As one of the oldest automobile races in the world, the Indy 500 is one of the most tradition-rich events in all of American sports. The race was first run all the way back in 1911 and exploded in popularity over the years thanks to fantastic racing and lucrative prize pools.
Chevrolet said in a statement that it’s honored to once again pace the Indy 500, and it marks the 16th time a Corvette has been chosen to pace the race and the 30th time for a Chevrolet vehicle. The figures make the Corvette the most-popular pace car and Chevrolet the most-popular brand for pace vehicles.
The pace car, in particular, sports a Long Beach Red Metallic exterior color with an Indy 500 graphics package. The graphics include the Indy 500 logo on the sides of the car and full-length racing stripes in silver. Otherwise, the Corvette Grand Sport pace car is identical to a model anyone can purchase at their local Chevy dealership.
The track, which is nicknamed the “Brickyard” because the original racing surface was made from bricks, is the largest-capacity sports venue in the world with over 257,000 permanent seats. Each year, hundreds of thousands of spectators make their way to central Indiana to see which driver will celebrate their victory with a bottle of milk in victory lane and the opportunity to kiss the bricks that make up the start/finish line.
First of all, I don’t think I had a name, a street name with my name apart from when we started doing this a couple of years ago and, today, I had the opportunity to actually hang my own name in there, so I kind of talked to the guys in the truck and I told them after the month of May when they take these down and when you guys are taking all the signs out, why don’t you forget that one in there and just leave it there?
The 31-year-old IndyCar veteran confirmed Monday that for the second straight year, he will be teaming up with Sage Karam and piloting a Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Hildebrand’s entry marks the 34th for the 500, officially signalling the return of bumping at the speedway. Two more announcements of this ilk are expected in short order. Juncos Racing is expected to officially confirm its solo entry soon, while Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has yet to announce who will team up with James Hinchcliffe and Marcus Ericsson and pilot its third car for the race.
Hildebrand will drive a Chevrolet for a second straight year with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, attempting to qualify for his ninth Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. The team announced Monday that he’ll be part of a two-car effort again with Sage Karam.
“I’m excited to get back for Year 2 with these guys,” said the 31-year-old who finished 11th in the Indy 500 last year. “We learned a lot last year about working together as a group and I’m really confident that we’re going to come back this year stronger than we were.”
Hildebrand does little around the racetrack that doesn’t carry at least a hint of his passion for the sport’s history, including the number on his car. Last year it was No. 66, a reminder of the number on Jim Clark’s only NASCAR ride, with styling that fit the motif of primary sponsor Salesforce.
This year it will be No. 48 to honor Gurney, regarded as one of the best ever to race in Indy cars, Formula One, stock cars and more before he became a successful team owner and renowned car constructor.