|Bret Kelley/IMS for Chevrolet|
The 100th edition of the Indianapolis 500 set in little more than a month from now is already taking shape with the announcement of the ceremonial pace car drive. A person well-known for celebrating in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's victory lane is presented with a special duty of starting the 500-mile classic. Set to take the wheel of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS pace car is IndyCar superstar team owner Roger Penske.
Despite never competing at the Brickyard as a driver (what was a relatively short but noteworthy career behind the wheel), Roger Penske's name is attached to some of the most significant records at the speedway. Impressively the winning car owner for 16 of the previous 99 runnings of the Indianapolis 500, the first victory for a Penske-owned car was in 1972 driven by Mark Donohue. The 16 wins for the car owner have come with 11 drivers including Rick Mears, Al Unser and Al Unser Jr as well as Emerson Fittipaldi. Penske is the also the reigning winning car owner thanks to a masterful drive by Juan-Pablo Montoya in the 2015 Indianapolis 500.
For the ninth time in the life of the Camaro nameplate, the car has been selected as the pace car for the Indianapolis 500. A sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro SS hardtop will be handled by Roger Penske for the opening parade laps. With the 2016 edition of the race, five of the six generations of the Chevrolet Camaro will have been represented as a pace car at Indy (only one left out is the second-generation model sold from 1970 to 1981). The 2016 Indy 500 will also be the 15th consecutive time the Chevrolet brand is slated to lead the 33 race starters to green.
The Abalone White 2016 Camaro SS pace vehicle commemorates the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 as well as the 50th anniversary for the introduction of the Chevrolet pony car. Billed as a 2017 special edition, the Chevrolet Camaro SS pace car is powered by a 455-horsepower, 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 engine. Special badging and black center striping of the Chevrolet Camaro 50th Anniversary Edition is accompanied by a 20-inch wheels body-color front splitter, orange brake calipers and unique seating with orange stitching. The 50th Anniversary Edition Camaro will be available to the public in coupe and convertible body styles.
The 100th Indianapolis 500 will be held on May 29th of 2016.