Gordon to lead Brickyard 400 field as pace-car driver

Jeff Gordon
Series points leader Jeff Gordon waves to the crowd during driver introductions before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Phoenix International Raceway, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Avondale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Five-time Brickyard 400 winner Jeff Gordon will lead the field into the race one more time next month – as the pace-car driver.

Gordon competed in each of the first 23 races on the historic 2.5-mile oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that is not far from his childhood home.

Two years ago, after Gordon had announced he would retire, race officials billed the race as his “last ride.” The plan was to have Gordon in the pace car last year. Instead, Gordon came out of retirement to replace the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr.

This time, Gordon, who won three poles at Indy, will drive a supercharged 2017 Camaro ZL1. The race is scheduled for July 23.

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