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The Indianapolis 500 was one of the few events that still took place during COVID-ravaged 2020, but it was both delayed by several months and the stands were devoid of fans. Things are different for 2021, with the historic event back to its traditional Memorial Day Weekend timeslot and yes, racing fans will be in the seats. The event will also see Danica Patrick return to the Brickyard, this time behind the wheel of the official Indy500 pace car.

The IndyCar Series announced that Patrick will be the pace car driver leading the field to the green flag for the 105th running of the race, scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 30. She will be driving an Arctic White 2021 Corvette Stingray Convertible, marking the fifth straight year for Chevy's enduring sports car pacing the field at Indy. However, it will be the first appearance of a Corvette convertible since 2008.

Gallery: 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Indy 500 Pace Car

"I am very honored to drive the Corvette Stingray Pace Car this year at the Indy 500," said Patrick. "It is even more special because of the past year we have all endured, and it will be so nice to see fans back in the stands. I’m also excited to again be a part of the NBC broadcast team for the race."

Of course, Patrick has a rich history with the Indy 500. As a rookie driver in 2005 she qualified fourth, giving her the best starting position of any female driver in the history of the race. She also became the first female racing driver to lead laps at the Indy 500, and she would ultimately achieve the best finish for a female driver in 2009, landing on the podium in third place.

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As for the Corvette she'll be driving, Chevrolet holds an exclusive contract to provide pace cars for the event. The last non-Chevrolet vehicle to pace the field was an Oldsmobile Aurora back in 2000, though 2021 marks the 18th time a Corvette has been chosen for the honor.

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