Corvette to Pace Daytona 500 again
No sooner does the NASCAR season end with the last race at Homestead this past Sunday and now NASCAR’s already talking about the first race next year, a race which will be the 50th Daytona 500.
The first car across the starting line will, of course, be the pace car and next year it will be this Corvette Z06. That will be the fifth consecutive year it a Corvette has performed that function.
Chevrolet’s General Manager, Ed Peper, had a few kind words for both NASCAR and his employer while the announcement was being made:
"Chevrolet has been inextricably linked to NASCAR from its inception and we are honored to support the golden anniversary of the sport’s premier race – the Daytona 500 – with a very special Corvette Z06 Pace Car. The Corvette Z06 has established a tradition in leading the pack at Daytona, which reflects Chevrolet’s commitment to racing and the fans."
"Talk about a ’wow-factor. It’s the perfect piece of machinery to help pace a star-studded field at ’The World Center of Racing’ for the historic 50th running of the Daytona 500." That came from Speedway President Robin Braig.
The winner of the Daytona 500 is awarded the “Harley Earl trophy” on top of which is a cast model of the GM concept car Firebird I. Earl was the founder of General Motor’s styling department, and a legendary figure in the auto industry. The trophy, of course, comes with a lot of money, as well as a lot of tradition.
But I would be willing to bet that at least some of the competitors wish that Daytona’s tradition included giving the Pace Car to the winner.