It'll be the first time a pickup will serve as pace car (or truck) for the Great American Race.
Chevy is no stranger to pacing the Daytona 500. It's provided the pace car no fewer than a dozen times for the Great American Race – but they've all been with sports cars, like the Camaro and Corvette. This time, though, it'll be sending the new Silverado 1500 to lead the pack, and it'll be the first time that the Daytona 500 will ever be paced by a pickup truck.
The vehicle it's sending to the Florida speedway packs the 6.2-liter V8 engine, sending its 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque through a ten-speed automatic transmission.
Clearly it has the muscle for the job, then, even if its aerodynamic profile comes closer to barn door than that of the silhouette racers it'll be leading.
Behind the wheel will be none other than Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who has had his share of experience in leading the Daytona 500. He's won it twice, after all, and another two wins in the July race at the same venue. “I’ve had a lot of fun and a lot of success at Daytona over the years, and now I can’t wait to get out on that track in a Silverado,” said Earnhardt.
Out of 36 NASCAR Cup races he's started at the famous speedway, Earnhardt finished in the top ten 19 times. “Away from the track I’ve driven Chevy trucks all my life, and I’m excited to have this unique experience of pacing the Daytona 500 with the Silverado.”
“Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the perfect choice to pace the race because of his enthusiasm for the sport, his long history with Chevrolet and his love of trucks,” added Chevy's Jim Campbell. “It’ll be exciting to have Dale lead the field to green in the strongest, most advanced Silverado ever.”