Two-time Daytona 500 champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. will pace The Great American Race in an all-new Silverado pickup, Chevrolet announced on Tuesday.
“I’ve had a lot of fun and a lot of success at Daytona over the years, and now I can’t wait to get out on that track in a Silverado,” said Earnhardt Jr. “Away from the track I’ve driven Chevy trucks all my life, and I’m excited to have this unique experience of pacing the Daytona 500 with the Silverado.”
This is the first time the Daytona 500 will be paced by a pickup truck.
“Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the perfect choice to pace this race because of his enthusiasm for the sport, his long history with Chevrolet, and his love for trucks,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports.
As a full-time competitor in the NASCAR Cup Series, Dale Jr. won the prestigious race for the first time in 2004 and claimed the checkered flag again in 2014. In his 36 career Cup Series starts at Daytona International Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. accumulated four wins, 13 top-fives, and 19 top-10 finishes.
The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado that will lead the field to the green flag is powered by a 6.2-liter V-8 engine, which produces 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired to General Motor’s new 10-speed automatic gearbox.
Over the decades, Chevrolet has brought the Daytona 500 field to the green flag 12 times—five with the Corvette and seven times with the Camaro.
The green flag for the 2019 Daytona 500 will wave on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 2:30 p,.m. EST on FOX and can be heard on MRN (Motorsport Racing Network).
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