Ken Griffey Jr. to drive pace car at Indianapolis 500

Ken Griffey Jr. was a 2016 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
1 of 5 | Ken Griffey Jr. was a 2016 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

May 20 (UPI) -- Baseball legend Ken Griffey Jr. will serve as the honorary pace car driver for the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday in Indianapolis, race organizers announced Monday.

"Driving the pace car and leading the field to start the Indy 500 is one of the coolest experiences," Griffey said in a news release.


"I came to the track a few years ago as a photographer and look forward to seeing the race from a different perspective."

Griffey, 54, will drive a 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray while leading the 33-driver field at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 108th edition of the race will start at 12:45 p.m. EDT and air on NBC.

Griffey, a 2016 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, recorded the seventh-most home runs (630) in MLB history during his decorated 22-year career.

"Every baseball fan knows Ken Griffey Jr.," Indianapolis Motor Speedway president J. Douglas Boles said. "Two legends will come together as Griffey hops into the Corvette E-Ray to lead the field at the Racing Capital of the World."

Indianapolis Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton was the honorary pace car driver at the 2023 Indianapolis 500, which was won by Josef Newgarden.


Lance Armstrong, Guy Fieri and Danica Patrick were among the other recent pace car drivers. Newgarden, Scott McLaughlin, Will Power, Alexander Rossi, Pato O'Ward and Alex Palou are among the betting favorites to win Sunday's race.

McLaughlin set a track record with a four-lap average of 234.220 mph to win the pole Sunday in Indianapolis. Power qualified for second, while Newgarden will line up third.

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