Jeff Gordon is retiring from NASCAR at the end of the season, and with his passion for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – winning his first race at the Brickyard back in 1994 – some have wondered whether the Pittsboro, Ind. resident would run the Indianapolis 500 as a final goodbye to an illustrious career. Wonder no more, Gordon will attempt the double.
Only, it’s not the IndyCar/NASCAR double we’d hoped for – Gordon will instead drive the pace car for the 99th running of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” leading the field of 33 to the green flag prior to jumping on his private jet and racing back to Charlotte for the Coca Cola 600.
Last year, Kurt Busch raced in both IndyCar and NASCAR events on the same day, finishing a stellar 6th at Indy before retiring with an engine issue in Charlotte. Gordon’s visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the day of the 600 should be far less stressful: “I’ve won five NASCAR races at IMS and the track will always be a special place for me,” said Gordon. “So to be able to participate in such a historic day will be something I remember for the rest of my life.”
Gordon will be driving a 650 hp 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, the 13th time a Corvette has paced the field for the 500. While it’s not the double race fans may have dreamed of, seeing Gordon heading the pack on Memorial Day weekend will still be quite the spectacle.