June 25, 2024
Motorsports

Ken Griffey Jr. announced as driver for Indy 500 Corvette pace car

Former colleagues Edgar Martinez, left, and Ken Griffey Jr. in 2023 during pitcher Felix Hernandez’s induction into the Mariners Hall of Fame. (AP)

 

INDIANAPOLIS — Legendary outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. has been selected as the pace car driver for the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.

Griffey has previously attended the Indianapolis 500 as a photographer, but this time he will have a more prominent role. He will be driving the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray that leads the field of 33 cars, with Scott McLaughlin starting from pole position, to the green flag at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“Being the Pace Car driver and leading the field at the start of the Indy 500 is an incredible experience,” Griffey commented on Monday. “I visited the track a few years ago to take photos and now I am excited to witness the race from a different viewpoint.”

The role of pace car driver has been highly sought after by athletes, actors, and other celebrities since the 1970s, when James Garner and Marty Robbins handled the task. Over the years, individuals like Jay Leno, Morgan Freeman, and Patrick Dempsey, as well as NBA players Victor Oladipo and Tyrese Haliburton, have had the opportunity to drive the pace car.

Griffey, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016 after a distinguished 22-year career in the major leagues primarily with the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds, is a 13-time All-Star with 630 home runs, ranking him seventh on the career list. Known for his exceptional defensive skills, he also received the Gold Glove award ten times.

He will be part of the star-studded lineup at the Indianapolis 500, which includes national anthem performers Jordin Sparks and Phillip Phillips. The speedway will also reveal its honorary starters on Tuesday.

“Ken Griffey Jr. is a household name for every baseball fan,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway president J. Douglas Boles. “It will be a special moment when Griffey takes the wheel of the Corvette E-Ray to lead the field at the Racing Capital of the World.”

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AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing

FAQ

1. Who will be driving the pace car for the Indianapolis 500?

Ken Griffey Jr., the Hall of Fame outfielder, will be driving the pace car for the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500.

2. How many home runs did Ken Griffey Jr. hit in his career?

Kenn Griffey Jr. hit 630 home runs during his 22-year major league career.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Ken Griffey Jr.’s involvement as the pace car driver at the Indianapolis 500 adds an exciting element to the prestigious event. With his illustrious baseball career and iconic status, Griffey brings a unique presence to the race, further enhancing the overall experience for fans and participants alike.

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