Chevy & the 96th Running of the Indy 500
- Written by Kimatni D. Rawlins
The 2012 Indy 500 weekend started off with all cylinders firing for Chevrolet, who began the IndyCar season with an all-new engine for the race circuit. The 96th running of the 500 was hotter and as exciting as ever. Ryan Briscoe, took the pole position -- a career first-- for his No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Chevrolet with a four-lap average speed of 226.484 mph and a time of 2:38.9514 mph. “This is unbelievable,” said Briscoe. “Those four laps were so good and so consistent. It was lap four that won me the pole today; that was the set up I had on it. Chevrolet, man, they gave us the horsepower. I’m really proud of them and IZOD.” In fact, nine of the starting ten pole qualifiers were powered by Chevy engines. That’s pretty spectacular.
On the entertainment scene, celebrity chef and restaurant owner Guy Fieri drove the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Pace Car to lead the field of 33 drivers at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “There are races and then there are races,” said Fieri. “And without a doubt, the Indy 500 is the race that I’ve always wanted to attend.” Fieri is owner to several Chevy vehicles including a red 1968 Chevrolet Camaro SS convertible, a 2011 Camaro SS convertible, a 2007 Corvette, a 1970 Chevelle SS 454, a 1967 C10 pickup, a 2006 Kodiak C4500 4X4, and a 2006 Silverado 2500. The Corvette ZR1 and its supercharged, 6.2-liter LS9 engine emitting 638 horsepower is the most powerful production car ever to pace Indy 500. It also darts from 0 to 60 in 3.4 seconds, has a top speed of 205 mph, and lapped the Nurburgring in 7:19.63. The opportunity marked the 23rd time a Chevrolet has paced “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
To give fans, media and special guests a taste of Indy styled action, Chevy offered hot laps around the 2.5-mile track in Camaro Convertibles, the race’s official vehicle. As well, motorsports media -- including Automotive Rhythms -- were able to drag race the Camaro ZL1 at Lucas Oil Motor Speedway. It rips down the runway in 11 seconds by professional tester drivers. Though, most of us hit around 13 seconds including our very own Leeann Brzozowski who grew up at Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey.
The 96th running of the Indy 500 saw record heat and record lead changes. Multiple crashes were of course the nature of the race, but in the end Dario Franchitti won it all after a courageous inside pass attempt by Sato turned sour when he lost control and wrecked on the last lap. Scott Dixon finished second and Chevy Driver Tony Kanaan placed third after an eventful last 20 laps. Congratulations gentlemen!