• May 12th 2011 at 6:42PM
  • 24
It'll be a landmark running for the Indianapolis 500 later this month, as the event celebrates its 100th anniversary as the premier open-wheel racing event in America. All of which only gave some fans more reason to be ticked off when Donald Trump was announced as this year's pace car driver.

Annoyed by political implications detracting from the spirit of racing, many fans were up in arms when Trump was announced as the official pace car driver, evidently prompting the celebrity businessman and possible presidential candidate to change his plans. In his place, organizers at the Speedway have invited none other than A.J. Foyt to drive the Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible that will serve as the official pace car. As a four-time Indy 500 winner, Foyt is among the most decorated drivers ever to lap the Brickyard, and his nomination will surely come as more welcome news to the legions of open-wheel devotees.

In related news, two drivers better known for their formula racing activities overseas will make their Indy debuts at the 500 this year. One of them is Scott Speed, the last American to race in Formula One. Speed shifted over the NASCAR after things didn't pan out in F1, until Red Bull dropped his sponsorship last year. Given his experience in open wheels and oval tracks, Speed may find a new home at Indy.

Also making his Indy debut will be Ho-Pin Tung, who will become the first Chinese driver to contest the Indianapolis 500. Tung is a reserve/test driver for Renault F1 this season and has contested such feeder series as GP2, A1GP and Superleague Formula. Both he and Speed will be driving for Jay Penske's Dragon Racing team and will be eligible for the $5 million bonus available to drivers from outside the series should they overcome the insurmountable odds to claim the checkered flag and drink milk in victory lane.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      100 years of motor racing at Indianapolis and the best they could come up with was... Donald Trump? Pathetic. Tony George really has messed up open-wheel racing more than anyone in America.
      Master Austin
      • 4 Years Ago
      Thats the only time you will see Trump in a convertible...Parked inside a building because that hairpiece would be flying off as quick as underwear on a nun in a fraternity party.
      • 4 Years Ago
      100th anniversary of the Indy 500 and Trump was the pick? Who approved that??? Good Lord. No wonder open wheel racing is where it is...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Dudes! Hush! That's no way to talk about your future president. (chuckles) Keep talking like that and he might hire a hitman to take each and one of you out. Once the job is done then he will conveniently forget to pay them. All political sarcasm aside, I didn't think he still knew how to drive.
      wonky donky.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Convertible? Oh. No, no, no. The hair always looks like this.
      david opanga
      • 4 Years Ago
      ...the 5 million prize is awarded to outside winners for the season ending las Vegas race.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If the Donald is no better a driver than he is a skier (have you ever seen him ski? Ewww....now his first wife, Ivanka, was one heckuva skiier and dressed the part!) Indy is well served to have a pro driver, even an old one, drive the pace car. That car will do better than 140mph around the brickyard and pace car driver errors can cost wrecks!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Someone should replace Trump. Full stop.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The $5M is only for the season finale in Vegas, not the 500.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mr. Trump . . . . . . . . . . . . .you're fired !
      LUSTSTANG S-197
      • 4 Years Ago
      Smart move. It makes more sense to have a famous Indy Car driver driving the pace car than someone who really has nothing to do with the sport.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's a great wax likeness of the Donald!
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