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Pacers All-Star Tyrese Haliburton named pace car driver for Indianapolis 500
Haliburton becomes the second active Pacers player to lead the 33-car field at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Before each Pacers home game this past season, the team invited someone special to Rev It Up just before tip-off at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
Come Sunday afternoon, in front of 325,000 fans at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and millions more watching at home, Tyrese Haliburton will rev it up and lead the 33-car field to the green flag.
The Pacers’ All-Star guard was selected to drive the Corvette Z06 pace car at the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500, set for Sunday afternoon on NBC.
“Basketball and racing are big in Indiana, and it’s such a cool experience to represent the Pacers at the biggest race in the world,” Haliburton said in the news release.
Haliburton becomes the second active Pacer to be given the keys for the greatest spectacle in racing. Victor Oladipo served as the pace car driver in 2018 and drove a 2019 Corvette ZR1.
Haliburton will be in the driver’s seat of a 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, as seen below, with a V-8 engine that reaches 670 horsepower.
Haliburton both makes a statement and knows speed, leading the Pacers to a league-leading 18.1 fast break points per game.
The driver selection is a collaborative decision between IMS officials and Chevrolet, their pace car partner. A discussion on potential candidates typically begins at the NASCAR year-end banquet in early December.
Actor Adam Driver, an Indiana native, was chosen as the honorary starter to wave the green flag.
Haliburton, who will be tasked with making four left turns around the 2.5-mile oval, will have someone riding shotgun who is in constant communication with race control and telling him what speeds to go.
Haliburton, 23, just completed his third season in the NBA and his first full year as a member of the Pacers. He was voted to the All-Star game, led the Pacers to a better season than anticipated and then was referred to as a partner of the front office at the end of the season by team president Kevin Pritchard.
And then, just last week, he represented the franchise on stage at the NBA Draft Lottery — where they learned they’ll have picks 7, 26, 29, 32 and 50.
Haliburton is a midwest kid from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. And when he was acquired by the team in Feb. 2022, during his first interview with local reporters he said: “one of my best traits is I’m somebody that just loves hard. I want to be here, I want to be a part of it.”
And since then, he has deliver. He has absolutely been all-in. He’s a stakeholder and has proudly become the face of the franchise.
Pritchard & the front office have to be smiling wide seeing this announcement.
Although the Pacers did not make the playoffs for the third straight year, there will be racers and Pacers in May after all thanks to Haliburton.
Last Five Pace Car Drivers:
2022: Sarah Fisher
2021: Danica Patrick
2020: Mark Reuss
2019: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2018: Victor Oladipo