The winningest car owner in Indy car and Indianapolis 500 Mile Race history, Roger Penske will be the honorary pace car driver in a unique version of the new 2017 Camaro SS 50th Anniversary Edition for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil next month.
The pairing is perfect because Penske Racing is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Team Penske has won 16 Indianapolis 500s dating to 1972 and collected its 179th Indy car win Sunday at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, with Simon Pagenaud driving to victory using a Chevrolet 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engine and aero kit.
"Chevrolet and Roger Penske are inextricably linked to the heritage of the Indianapolis 500," said J. Douglas Boles, president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "When he leads the pack on May 29, behind the wheel of the Camaro SS, he will drive the race into its next 100 years and strengthen the bond Chevrolet and Indianapolis forged a century ago."
Four identically prepared Camaro SS pace cars will support the race, all with exclusive abalone white exteriors featuring "100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil" graphics on the doors and the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway wing-and-wheel logo on the quarter panels. They also incorporate the exterior cues and graphics that are unique to the Camaro 50th anniversary package that goes on sale this summer.
With 455 horsepower under the hood, the Camaro SS pace cars require no performance modifications to lead the racing field. It will mark the ninth time a Camaro has served as the Indy 500 pace car and the 27th time for Chevrolet, dating to 1948.
"Chevrolet and the Indianapolis 500 have a long, storied history and it's an honor to mark the respective milestones of the Indy 500 race and the Camaro simultaneously," said Mark Reuss, Chevrolet’s executive vice president of Global Product Development and Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. "It's also a privilege to have Roger Penske perform the driving duties, as his team has helped Chevrolet earn four consecutive INDYCAR manufacturer titles since 2012."
Juan Pablo Montoya is the defending Indianapolis 500 champion, driving his Chevrolet to Victory Lane to give Penske his 16th triumph in the legendary race. Other drivers to win the Indy 500 for Penske have included Mark Donohue, Rick Mears, Al Unser and Helio Castroneves.
Tickets are on sale for the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the IMS road course May 14 and the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29. Visit www.ims.com/tickets, call (800) 822-INDY or visit the IMS ticket office at 4790 W. 16th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46222, weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. ET for more information.