Television today offers a never-ending schedule of shows designed to scratch that automotive itch for those who consider cars as more than simply transportation. Long-term car guys will remember a time when there were only two “car shows” to ever find their way over the airwaves to our televisions; namely, the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500.
Both of the “500s” have long served as the pinnacle of their respective racing styles and the Indy 500 has assumed the role as the “Greatest spectacle in auto racing”, which it does in a grand fashion, bringing in VIPs from around the globe. Pre-race festivities begin days before the race and continue right up to, and including the first lap before competition, guided by the official pace car.
This year, one of Indiana’s own will be piloting the 755-hp Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Pace Car around the Brickyard for the 102nd running of the Indy 500. Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo will take some time away from his off-season training to lead the field of 33 competitors around the famous first lap on May 27th at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
This is a tremendous honor for me,” Oladipo said in a statement. “I’m so thankful Indiana continues to embrace me, from Indiana University to the Pacers and now the Indianapolis 500, the greatest race in the world. – Victor Oladipo
The NBA All-Star has every reason to be thankful. He was a fan favorite during his college career at Indiana University from 2010-’13 and after a short stint playing for Oklahoma City, he returned as an Indiana Pacer and averaged 23.1 points per game this past season, making him a leading candidate for the 2017-’18 NBA Most Improved Player Award, which will be announced at the end of next month.
Victor’s ride around the big oval may be limited to one lap, but the memories are sure to last a lifetime, and by the looks of it, that life is set to be one big, amazing ride. Be sure to watch Victor and the 2019 Corvette ZR1 as they lead the race at the beginning of the 102nd running of the Indy 500 this Monday!