Dale Earnhardt Jr., the 2004 Daytona 500 champion, unveiled the all-new 2005 Corvette that will pace the 47th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season opener during the national broadcast of Fox & Friends on Tuesday morning.
Earnhardt Jr., who drives the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Inc., revealed the Corvette coupe that will pace the 43-car field in "The Great American Race" on Sunday, Feb. 20 - NASCAR's richest, biggest and most prestigious event at historic Daytona International Speedway.
"The all-new 2005 Corvette brings more power, more precision and more passion to drivers than any Corvette in history making it a natural fit to pace this historic race," said Brent Dewar, Chevrolet general manger.
"We are proud to once again have our good partners at Chevrolet pace the field at NASCAR's signature event," said Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig. "We are looking forward to showing off the 2005 Corvette pace car on national television and in front of thousands of fans."
The 43-car field that will be led by the Chevrolet Corvette pace vehicle will be battling for a record purse of $17,623,980, the richest in stock car racing history. Ashton Kutcher, the popular star of FOX's "That '70s Show" and the star of the upcoming feature film "Guess Who," will serve as Honorary Starter and wave the green flag to start the Daytona 500, which will be televised live on FOX.
The design of the Daytona 500 Corvette pace vehicle includes elements that reflect the heritage and attitude of the historic winning Corvette race cars. The Corvette pace vehicle is millennium yellow with a black racing stripe centered across the hood, roof and trunk lid with the Daytona 500 logo on each door and Chevy's "An American Revolution" slogan on the rear spoiler.
This will be the 34th consecutive year General Motors has provided the Official Pace Car for the Daytona 500. The Daytona 500 will be one of 60 NASCAR events Chevrolet will pace in 2005, including 28 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, 17 Busch Series and 15 Craftsman Truck Series races.
Chevrolet returns to this year's Daytona 500 with an impressive win record - 17 victories, the most of any manufacturer. Chevrolet also kicks off the 2005 racing season as defending manufacturer's champion. In 2004 Chevy drivers captured 22 wins to tie its own record for most wins in a single season in NASCAR's "modern era" which aided Chevy in achieving its 28th manufacturer's championship.