This morning in Indianapolis Chevrolet and Indianapolis Motor Speedway execs unveiled the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS Indianapolis 500 pace car.
The promotional event was held at the Speedway’s Hall of Fame Museum. It will be the sixth Camaro pace car at the brickyard since Camaro’s inaugural year in 1967. Camaro has also paced the endurance race in 1969, 1982, 1993 and 2009.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Indianapolis was the premier event on the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) series, with arguable the most exciting – and competitive open-wheel racing in the world since on any given weekend half a dozen teams and more drivers could and did seriously contend for a podium finish.
Indy itself was also a major international racing event and the month of May saw continuous coverage in sports sections as teams prepared, practiced and qualified the 200 mph plus cars.
An ill-fated attempt by Tony George in 1996, the scion of the founding family that ran Indy but who resented foreign born drivers and Indy’s equal status as only on race in the series, saw the introduction of spec cars in the newly formed the Indy Racing League. IRL racing severely damaged the popularity of the sport as big name teams and drivers left just as NASCAR was entering a long boom period. The race or series in various permutations has never really recovered. George was forced out of speedway management.
Recently the race has been showing signs of revival.
This year’s Camaro pace car has what is called Inferno Orange Metallic paint with White Diamond rally stripes, which travel from the front to the rear over the top of the body, as well as extending to the instrument panel. The design is a different but similar version of the original rally stripe that debuted on the 1969 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car.