INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WOWO): Start your engines. We have a pace car driver.
Roger Penske, one of the winningest team owners in racing history, will drive the pace car for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May.
While the official announcement will be made on Monday, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway essentially confirmed its selection of Penske, 79, on Thursday.
“It is critical to IMS and our fans that the pace car driver for the Indianapolis 500 represent the importance of this event and understand what it means to be leading the field to the green for the 100th time. Our selection embodies those requirements completely,” said Doug Boles, president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a statement.
Penske’s teams have won a record 16 Indy 500’s; the first was Mark Donahue in 1972. The latest was last year’s winner, Juan Pablo Montoya. In addition to being the centennial for the 500, this year is the 50th anniversary of Penske owning a racing team. His first race as an owner was the 1966 24 Hours of Daytona.