Trail-blazing motorsports icon Danica Patrick will drive the 2021 mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette Stingray hardtop convertible at the 105th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 30, returning to the track where she made racing history.
Patrick will lead the field of 33 cars to the green flag for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on the 2.5-mile oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Live coverage of the race starts at 11 a.m. (ET) on NBC and the INDYCAR Radio Network, with a global audience watching the popular Patrick drive the Arctic White Stingray, the first Corvette convertible since 2008 to pace the world’s most prestigious auto race.
“I am very honored to drive the Corvette Stingray Pace Car this year at the Indy 500,” Patrick said. “It is even more special because of the past year we have all endured, and it will be so nice to see fans back in the stands. I’m also excited to again be a part of the NBC broadcast team for the race.
“I have always loved Chevy vehicles, and the Corvette convertible is such a beautiful car. Maybe they will let me drive it home!”
Driving the Corvette Stingray convertible will be part of a busy Race Day for Patrick at IMS. She also is serving as a studio analyst for NBC’s live race broadcast with host Mike Tirico and fellow analyst Jimmie Johnson, a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion who is competing this season in road- and street-course events in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.
Patrick, who grew up in Roscoe, Illinois, achieved numerous milestones during her eight Indianapolis 500 starts, which took place from 2005-11 and in 2018. She achieved the best starting spot for a female driver, fourth, as a rookie in 2005 and electrified the racing world that year by becoming the first female driver ever to lead laps in the race.
She finished third in 2009 – the best result ever for a woman in the “500” – and holds the race record for laps led by a female, 29.
“We’re happy to welcome back Danica to the place where she made motorsports history as the first female driver to lead ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “She will provide a unique perspective for NBC viewers while behind the wheel of the powerful Corvette Stingray convertible.”
Chevrolet and Corvette have led the starting field more than any other manufacturer and nameplate, respectively. The 2021 race marks the 32nd time for Chevrolet to pace dating back to 1948, and the 18th time since 1978 for America’s favorite sports car.
Patrick made the last of her eight Indy 500 starts in 2018 behind the wheel of a Chevrolet-powered car. She also competed for the first five seasons of her six-year NASCAR career in a Chevrolet, including becoming the only female driver to win the Daytona 500 pole, in 2013.
“We’re honored that Danica Patrick will pace the field at this year’s Indianapolis 500,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet Performance & Motorsports. “It’s going to be great to see Danica back at the Speedway that she knows so well, behind the wheel of our 2021 Corvette convertible.”
Chevrolet has a storied history at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Chevrolet was founded in 1911, the year of the inaugural 500-mile race. Company co-founder and namesake Louis Chevrolet, along with brothers Arthur and Gaston, competed in early Indy 500s. Arthur competed in the 1911 race and Gaston won in 1920.
Nine drivers with Chevrolet engines have combined to win “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” 11 times, with Rick Mears, Emerson Fittipaldi, Arie Luyendyk, Al Unser Jr., Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, Juan Pablo Montoya, Will Power and, most recently, Simon Pagenaud in 2019.
Team Chevy also has won the NTT INDYCAR SERIES manufacturer championship six times since 2012.