Before each Pacers home game this past season, the team invited someone special to Rev It Up just before tip-off at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
Come Sunday afternoon, in front of 325,000 fans at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and millions more watching at home, Tyrese Haliburton will rev it up and lead the 33-car field to the green flag.
The Pacers’ All-Star guard was selected to drive the Corvette Z06 pace car at the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500, set for Sunday afternoon.
“Basketball and racing are big in Indiana, and it’s such a cool experience to represent the Pacers at the biggest race in the world,” Haliburton said in the news release.
Haliburton becomes the second active Pacer to be given the keys for the greatest spectacle in racing. Victor Oladipo served as the pace car driver in 2018 and drove a 2019 Corvette ZR1.
Haliburton will be in the driver’s seat of a 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, with a V-8 engine that reaches 670 horsepower.
“One of our biggest challenges every year is who should drive the pace car,” IMS president Doug Boles told me in 2018. “You want somebody who makes a statement, somebody that people recognize…”
Haliburton both makes a statement and knows speed, leading the Pacers to a league-leading 18.1 fast break points per game.
The driver selection is a collaborative decision between IMS officials and Chevrolet, their pace car partner. A discussion on potential candidates typically begins at the NASCAR year-end banquet in early December.
Actor Adam Driver, an Indiana native, was chosen as the honorary starter to wave the green flag.
Haliburton, who will be tasked with making four left turns around the 2.5-mile oval, will have someone riding shotgun who is in constant communication with race control and telling him what speeds to go.
Last Five Pace Car Drivers:
- 2022: Sarah Fisher
- 2021: Danica Patrick
- 2020: Mark Reuss
- 2019: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
- 2018: Victor Oladipo
(Click here for the full list)
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Pacers All-Star Tyrese Haliburton Named Pace Car Driver For Indianapolis 500 was originally published on 1075thefan.com
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