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Chevy Corvette ZR1 will pace the Indy 500 for the 11th time: Motoramic Dash

May 9, 2012

2012 Chevy Corvette Indy Pace Car
2012 Chevy Corvette Indy Pace Car

Welcome to the Motoramic Dash, a daily roundup of news from around the automotive world

A 2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 will pace the Indianapolis 500 on May 27, the 11th time the field has been led by a Corvette and the 23rd time a Chevy has done the honors. The way things have been trending in IndyCar racing, a Chevy will likely lead the field when the checkered flag falls.

This year's Indy 500 will contain some interesting names from racing history, namely former Formula 1 drivers Rubens Barrichello and Jean Alesi. There's swirling controversy over Lotus engines, including a lawsuit from one team accusing Lotus of near-extortion. And there's the dispute over turbocharger parts that Honda wants to use on its engines, which Chevrolet has objected to.

All of which has had no effect on which Chevrolet engine team won each of the four IndyCar races to date. Only in Long Beach, where an engine swap forced a 10-spot starting penalty on all Chevy-engined cars, was the finish close. While Hondas have finished as high as second, they've seemed a step slow throughout the year. If Honda can't find that extra tenth in Gasoline Alley, there'll be little stopping a Chevy driver from chugging milk in the winner's circle.

Other stories this morning:

Ford boosts output, trims summer shutdown: Ford will up production by 40,000 vehicles through cutting its summer shutdown from two weeks to one. Among Detroit automakers, only GM still has the full two-week break in place. (Detroit Free Press)

Toyota profits soar on North America: Speaking of busy summers, Toyota expects to boost U.S. sales by 300,000 cars and trucks this year. (AutoNews)

Cadillac giving free iPad with XTS sedan: To keep buyers of Caddy's new XTS front-wheel-drive sedan from revolting at using the CUE vibrating touch screen system, Cadillac will give them a free iPad, which owners will inevitably wrap in used Christmas paper and give to their grandchildren. (Detroit News)

No new "Top Gear" until 2013: Jeremy Clarkson tells a South Africa radio station that due to the Olympics, there's no new Top Gear episodes coming from the BBC this year, and a million fanboy voices cry out in anguish. (Final Gear)