Corvette Stingray to pace 2013 Indy 500
The iconic car returns for the 12th time to pace the grid at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Expect a replica to show up at dealerships soon.
Since its official debut at the North American International Auto Show in January, followed by nearly two years of nonstop rumors and drawings, the seventh-generation Corvette is still the hottest new coupe to debut this year. That is, if you don't count the new SRT Viper that's already on sale, or the 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo also coming this fall.
Chevrolet and race organizers didn't announce the Corvette's driver, but it's typically a celebrity of some sort. Last year, star chef Guy Fieri drove a 638-horsepower ZR1 at the 2012 Indy 500. This year, the base Corvette has "only" 450 ponies.
purple and yellow-striped 1998 convertible, which even sported yellow wheels and yellow leather.
While not all Corvette pace cars sell as limited-edition replicas like that 1998 model, we've no doubt Chevrolet will build one for 2014, at least when the Corvette convertible arrives next spring.
But don't expect any deals. Markups on regular Stingray coupes could run as high as $10,000 over the $51,995 base price, especially as only a third of all Chevrolet dealers will receive the car during the first few months.
The Indy 500, now in its 97th year, is practically a national landmark. Its famous banked oval allows some of the highest speeds in circuit racing; a 1996 record for 237 mph still stands. Even the average speeds are so intense that Formula One, considered above Indy Car as the finest, most technologically advanced racing in the world, couldn't handle the extreme friction and heat generated at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In 2005, the last year Formula One raced at the track, only six cars raced due to tire limitations.
It's also the only race that offers the winner a big bottle of fresh milk instead of fancy champagne. Be sure your drinks are ready when the green flag drops May 26.
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