|Year Car Grand Marshal Driver
Corvette Grand Sport
|Scrub's Star John McGinley serves as
Grand Marshal and waves the green flag
"We're excited to have the 505-hp Corvette Z06 back at the
world-famous Brickyard speedway as the Allstate 400 pace car,"
said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. "The Corvette is so
racing-ready that all we do is add strobe lights, racing safety belts
and a fun paint scheme and it's ready to pound the bricks at up to
While all Corvettes are considered high-performance machines, the
Corvette Z06 stands out among its counterparts. It is the fastest
vehicle ever offered by Chevrolet and General Motors. With 505
horsepower (377 kw) and 470 lb.-ft. of torque (637 Nm) from its
7.0L all-aluminum, racing-inspired engine, the Corvette Z06 leaps
from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds and has a top speed of 198 mph. It
also differs from other production Corvette models with extensive
use of lightweight materials, including carbon fiber front fenders
and a chassis comprised of aluminum and magnesium. A racing-ready
suspension and large, 18-inch front wheels and 19-inch rear wheels
help keep it glued to the tarmac.
Nor does the car require drivetrain modifications to satisfy its role
in front of the racing pack. With a dry-sump lubrication system, the
Z06's engine is equipped to handle the highest cornering forces
when traveling around Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 12-degree
banked turns. In the car's official capacity, it is outfitted with a
variety of safety equipment and highly-visible strobe lights - but is
still mechanically identical to those available at Chevrolet
The Corvette Z06 for the Allstate 400 wears a unique paint
scheme, inspired by an asymmetrical theme that conveys an
"empathic sense of motion," according to Kip Wasenko, the pace car
designer. "We've used the new sixth-generation Corvette to pace
several races recently and its shape is so iconic that we're
comfortable getting a little more abstract and artistic with the
pace car theme and not sticking to a design that follows the lines of
the car," Wasenko said. The Corvette Z06 features broad stripes
of yellow, white and blue which complement the Allstate 400 logo
and resemble banners that accentuate the car's sense of speed.
Television spokesperson and actor Dennis Haysbert is the grand
marshal of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday, Aug. 7,
2005 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Haysbert will participate in pre-race activities, including a
ceremonial parade lap, and will wave the green flag to signal the
start of the 12th running of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard
Haysbert is perhaps best known as President David Palmer from
the critically acclaimed, award-winning FOX television drama "24"
In 2003, his performance in the show earned Haysbert Golden
Globe Award, NAACP Image Award and Screen Actors Guild Award
nominations. Haysbert made his feature film debut in 1989,
portraying baseball player Pedro Cerrano in the sports comedy hit
"Major League" and has starred in other films, including "Heat"
(1995) and "Waiting to Exhale" (1995). Haysbert next will star in
his own series, "The Unit," for CBS.
Haysbert also is a spokesperson for Allstate Insurance Company
and has appeared in commercials for the insurance company since
Eight-time Allstate 400 at the Brickyard starter Brett Bodine
drives the Chevrolet SSR Pace Vehicle during the race. Bodine
finished second to Jeff Gordon in the inaugural Allstate 400 at
the Brickyard in 1994.
Chevrolet's Monte Carlo brand will lead the field for the ninth
annual Brickyard 400 on Aug. 4 at the Indianapolis Motor
The 2002 edition of the race marks the sixth consecutive year
the Monte Carlo has paced the NASCAR Winston Cup Series'
finest to the green flag at Indy.
Kurt Ritter, general manager of General Motors' largest
marketing division, will be behind the wheel of the Monte Carlo
Pace Car as it leads the field to a 1:30 p.m. (EST) start.
"The opportunity to lead the pack to the start is, for me, a true
honor," Ritter said. "However, I know IÂ’ll feel the pride of
everyone associated with Chevrolet... our engineers, our dealers
and our customers, as if they will be riding along with me.
"Chevy's captured over 500 wins in NASCAR's modern era, and
Monte Carlo is, without question, the most successful nameplate in
NASCAR Winston Cup history. As a recognized leader on the track,
it makes perfect sense for us to expand our motorsports heritage
by putting it out in front of the pack as a Pace Car."
General Motors' Special Vehicles team developed the Pace Car
from a 2003 Monte Carlo SS fresh off the assembly line in
Few modifications were made to enable it to perform its Pace Car
duties in the harsh environment of professional racing. Under-the-
hood changes include a revised fresh-air induction system,
installation of a low-restriction exhaust and increased engine
cooling capability, which raise output of the normally aspirated
3800 V6 to 230 horsepower at 5200 rpm and 250 foot-pounds of
torque, an increase of 30 horsepower and 25 foot-pounds of
torque compared to the production vehicle.
The suspension system has been mildly lowered, and the wheels
are composed of special cast aluminum.
"We're very proud of this Brickyard 400 Pace Car," Ritter said.
"On Race Day, it will represent Monte Carlo at its best, cruising
around the track at the head of the pack. With a unique Superior
Blue exterior paint complimented by Galaxy Silver ground
effects, it really gives it that 'classy-with-a-wild-streak' look."
Among the Pace CarÂ’s brightly colored graphics is the image of
Taz - the Warner Bros. cartoon character recognized around the
world. Taz is along for the ride as Team Monte Carlo's official
mascot and represents how much more fun driving can be in a
Monte Carlo. A limited edition Pace Car replica will be available on
the market later in the year.
Chevrolet has paced every Brickyard 400 to date, a testament to
Chevrolet's commitment to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Brickyard 400 pace vehicle assignments have been Monte Carlo
(1994, 1997-2002), the C/K Pickup (1995) and Camaro (1996).
Chevrolet is also a major partner in the Indy Racing League, which
counts the world-famous Indianapolis 500-Mile Race as its
marquee event. Chevrolet supplies engines to a number of IRL
teams and paces the field at IRL races with a Chevrolet Corvette.
The Monte Carlo will pace a total of 10 NASCAR Winston Cup
Series events in 2002; however, the Brickyard is the only event
to feature a car with the Superior Blue exterior paint and Galaxy
Silver ground effects. The car at all other events is clad in a
"Competition Yellow" paint scheme.
Actor John C. McGinley, best known for his
role as the sarcastic Dr. Perry Cox on the
long-running network comedy "Scrubs," was
announced July 16 as the grand marshal for the
Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday, July
27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
This year will mark the historic 15th running of
McGinley will be on-site at the famed
Brickyard to headline pre-race activities,
including the ceremonial waving of the green
flag, signaling the start of the race to the 43
drivers and one of the largest crowds in
John Middlebrook to Pace Allstate 400 at the Brickyard in Corvette Z06
After 49 Years of Service, Retiring GM Exec to Lead Field to the Green
In 1997, when John Middlebrook served as Chevrolet's general manager, he said: "Corvette
is now, and will continue to remain Chevrolet's flagship. It is our technological and image
showcase. Even more importantly, Corvette stands as the most singularly dramatic example
of what we mean by 'Genuine Chevrolet.' Corvette is much more than just a car. It's a love
affair. Words alone fail to convey the passion it inspires."
Just 11 years later, Middlebrook, who retired July 1 as GM vice president of global sales,
service and marketing operations, will share with the world his passion for Corvette, the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway and NASCAR as he leads the field to green in the 2008
Corvette Z06 pace car for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on July 27, 2008.
"It is great honor for me to have the opportunity to drive the Corvette Z06 pace car at
the Indianapolis Motor Speedway," said Middlebrook. "There is a tremendous Chevrolet
heritage at the Speedway dating back to the involvement of Louis Chevrolet in the
Indianapolis 500 in the early-1900s. To play a small role in continuing that tradition behind
the wheel of the 505-hp Corvette pace car for NASCAR's 15th Allstate 400 at the
Brickyard is a memory I will embrace."
Middlebrook, whose career with General Motors spanned nearly five decades, has made
tremendous contributions to GM in a variety of roles over his career and is well known and
highly respected and admired throughout the industry as a true sales and marketing
"John has been an outstanding steward of motorsports throughout his career, and it's only
fitting to pay tribute to what he's meant to GM and to the sport by having him drive the
pace car at the Brickyard," said Ed Peper, North American vice president of Chevrolet. "He
is a true leader, and all of Chevy will be cheering him on as he drives the car he loves--the
Corvette Z06 pace car--as he leads the entire NASCAR Sprint Cup starting field to the
green flag in Sunday's race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway."
"John Middlebrook has been a valued friend and business partner of the Indianapolis Motor
Speedway for decades," said Joie Chitwood, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and
chief operating officer. "His leadership, knowledge and experience have been a driving
force behind the longstanding relationship between IMS and Chevrolet. We're looking
forward to seeing him drive the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard field to the green in a
John G. Middlebrook
Buster Auton has probably the 44th-most envied seat at any Nextel Cup race.
While the average fan isn't qualified to take one of the cars entered in the
race for a lap, just about everyone could handle the wheel of Auton's pace car.
Handling his job description is a little tougher.
A NASCAR inspector, Auton drives the track before every practice and
qualifying session and, on race day, leads the field to the green flag and gathers
it up during cautions periods.
"I just kind of look at the racetrack and make sure everything is ready for
practice," he said. "... (I) get the racetrack ready for practices, and if we have
an accident, go out and check it out and make sure the racetrack is still safe
for the rest of the practice. I do that on Friday, Saturday and on Sunday ride in
the pace car and hopefully make sure everything is safe for the drivers."
One of the important but unnoticed aspects of Auton's job is setting pit road
speed. NASCAR race cars do not have speedometers, so drivers determine
their speed by tachometer readings. Knowing the proper reading is crucial
because drivers are assessed penalties for speeding into or away from pit stops.
"We roll off and when we get up to pit road speed we set the cruise and we turn
the lights on," he said. "When we turn the lights on, they know that's pit road
speed. In the warmup laps, we do that the first two or three or however many
laps we run. And then the rest of he race we run whatever the track (caution)
Auton stays in contact with race control officials located in the scoring tower,
providing information about possible debris or moisture. His spotters help him
race off pit road when the yellow flag flies so he can get in front of the field
and safely slow the pace from speeds faster than 100 mph to around 55. Auton
said NASCAR's elimination of racing back to the yellow flag probably made his
"It's always been pretty safe, but the tower tells me where everything's at,"
he said. "You kind of look, but you just listen to what they tell you, too."
Elmo Langley serves as a pace car driver for NASCAR. He began racing cars in 1952. He started his
own team in 1965. A look at the Grand National or Winston Cup points standings every season from the
late-1960s through the mid-1970s reveals the name Elmo Langley solidly in the top ten year after year
during this transitional period for NASCAR. After retiring from driving in 1977, Langley continued to
field his car in Winston Cup competition, with the driver's seat occupied by as many as 14 different
racers in one season.
Langley stayed heavily involved in the sport even after selling his team in 1986. In 1987 Langley was
running Cale Yarborough's team when NASCAR Winston Cup Director Dick Beaty offered him a job with
the sanctioning body that would still keep him close to the race cars.
"You get burned out after 35 years of working on 'em, racing 'em, and managing teams," Langley says.
"Those are 12-, 14-, 16-hour days, seven days a week. Dick Beaty approached me after I had said
something about being burned out on the race cars. The opportunity came to do what I'm doing now, to
work for NASCAR and drive the pace car. I just decided this would be a lot easier but keep me
involved with what I've been doing for 35 or 40 years, so I took the job."
"Even drivers that have ridden in the pace car didn't know there was that much to it," Langley replies.
"There's a lot of responsibility. You always have to know who the leader is. When they put it out (the
yellow flag) you have to pick up that leader. It's my decision to look and make sure that, if there's
been an accident, that everything is picked up. If there's an engine blown and oil was put down on the
track, it's my decision when they go back to green and that the track is clear. There's a lot more
responsibility than what somebody thinks."
When he's not driving the pace car, Elmo Langley helps inspect the stock cars to make sure they're as
safe as possible. Elmo is proud of NASCAR's safety record, even if the search for safety has led to
some ideas that didn't really work out. Take, for example, the use of two pace cars when NASCAR
first tried to lower speeds along pit road in 1991.
"I knew that the two paces cars wasn't going to work when they started that, but they were searching
then for a safer pit road," Langley notes. "When I first started driving the pace car, pit road was
dangerous because I would pick up the field, and then at the entrance to pit road they would peel off
and run full bore down pit road to their stalls. They'd change tires, and almost be exiting pit road by
the time I got down there in the pace car on the racetrack.
"That was just a dangerous situation -- it was more dangerous on pit road than it ever was in a race
car," Langley continues. "Now that they have cut down the pit road speed, and no one can pass the pace
car, that's made pit road 100 per cent safer. Anytime there's anything NASCAR can do to make
something safer they do it."
Tyler Hansbrough is the grand marshal for the
2009 Brickyard 400 and will wave the green flag.
He is the Indiana Pacers 2009 first-round draft
pick. Hansbrough, a 6-foot 9-inch forward, was the
all-time scoring leader for the North Carolina Tar
“I’m really looking forward to this,” Hansbrough
said. “I’m honored to have been selected and I
heard when Reggie Miller waved the green flag to
start the Indy 500, he said it was one of the
coolest things he has ever done so I can’t wait.”
Corvettes were the parade cars
and had the driver's name and Nascar
driver's name on the hood.
This black car had AJ Foyt driving
Derrick Cope around.
Driving the Pace Car on Sunday will be Hope Solo,
goalie for the U.S. Women’s soccer team. Hope
becomes just the third woman to pilot a pace car at
the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and is the first
woman to do so for the Brickyard 400.
A 2011 Supersonic Blue Corvette Grand Sport Coupe is the Pace Car for the 2011
White Corvette and Camaros served as festival cars
Ron Howard, 58, will drive the pace car for the
Brickyard 400 on July 29 at Indianapolis Motor
He will be a guest of four-time Sprint Cup
champion Jeff Gordon in his first visit to the
In a released statement, Howard said:
"I've been a longtime admirer of Jeff's work
both on and off the track. Not only is he a
stellar driver, but his commitment to ending
older hunger in America shows his passion for
helping others. I'm honored to drive the Pace
Car at IMS, and I thank NASCAR for giving me
this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."