Jeff Gordon has won four NASCAR championships, hosted Saturday Night Live and even got a pair of Shetland ponies as a retirement gift from Texas Motor Speedway.
But Sunday he’ll do something that ranks up there with all of them – lead the field into the Daytona 500.
Chevrolet and Daytona International Speedway announced Friday that Gordon would serve as the pace car driver for Sunday’s race, the signature event to kickoff NASCAR’s season.
“I’m honored,” Gordon said. “This is truly an honor to be able to drive the pace car for the Daytona 500. I can remember years ago, I think 2005 when I last won this race, Matthew McConaughey was the pace car driver or certainly an honorary starter here. So this to me – you go down the list of prestigious things that I’ve done – this is right up at the top of the list. Very, very cool.”
Gordon, who won the Daytona 500 three times in his illustrious career, unveiled the pace car during a ceremony Friday. He’ll be driving the new 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, a vehicle that can go 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds.
After leading the field, Gordon will head up to the broadcast booth to serve as an analyst on the FOX telecast.