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Jim Nabors may be best known for playing Gomer Pyle, but he's been part of Indy 500 for over four decades. Now that he's retiring, though, the race organizers have nominated an Indiana-based a cappella group to uphold the tradition.

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Indy 500, Long-Term Jeep Cherokee, Cadillac Drops Three-Row Crossover, 2015 Ford Mustang Pricing

Episode #382 of the Autoblog podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Steven Ewing and Brandon Turkus talk about the 2014 Indianapolis 500, the addition of a Jeep Cherokee to our long-term fleet, Cadillac dropping plans for a three-row crossover, and 2015 Ford Mustang pricing. We start with what's in the garage and finish up with some of your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Check out the new rundown below with times for t

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Indy 500, Long-Term Jeep Cherokee, Cadillac Drops Three-Row Crossover, 2015 Ford Mustang Pricing

We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #382 this evening. Check out the topics below, or drop us your questions and comments via our Q&A module. And don't forget to subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so. To take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.

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The Indianapolis 500 has lost one of its great competitors just weeks before the 2014 running of the famous race. A.J. Watson (pictured above left) competed multiple times from 1948 to 1984 as a designer, crew chief and mechanic, scoring six wins in his career with his own chassis at the Yard of Bricks. Watson died shortly after his 90th birthday.

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Dario Franchitti may no longer be up for racing in the wake of his crash in Houston five months ago, but the three-time Indy 500 winner and four-time IndyCar Series champion won't be left out of the action altogether. To start with, he'll be helping the Chip Ganassi Racing team with driver development, and now Chevrolet has announced that Franchitti will be driving the pace car when the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 kicks off on May 25.

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The last Formula One World Champion to hail from this continent, Jacques Villeneuve has raced everything from stock cars to Le Mans prototypes and more. But it all started at Indy.

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The 100th running of the Indy 500 will happen in 2016, and in anticipation of the centenary celebrations, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has begun Project 100. As part of a request the track made for state funding to assist with the plan (which is expected to cost from $70 million to $100 million), track officials have announced plans to upgrade infrastructure, add more video boards and better grandstands. Fan experiences and promotional venues are also part of the plan, and better lighting cou

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If the 2013 Indy 500 were a movie it would be the one expected to win all the little statues come awards season, and if it were an athlete it would have made spectators watch in awe as it broke record after record. And this kind of talk comes after last year's race was considered one of the best ever – the last lap hijinks in 2012 and Takuma Sato's crash leading to a podium ceremony straight out of a Golden Globes tearjerker.

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He didn't get the trophy, but he did get the girl pace car. San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh – who quarterbacked the Indianapolis Colts from 1994 to 1997 – will lead the 33-car Indianapolis 500 field around The Brickyard in a 2014 Corvette Stingray pace car.

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Just a couple days ago, we saw spy shots of a C7 Corvette testing for what we assumed was pace car duty for the Indianapolis 500, and now General Motors has confirmed that the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray will, in fact, lead the field to the green flag for the 97th running of the Indy 500. Not only will this be the 17th consecutive year a GM vehicle has paced the race and the 12th straight time a Chevy has handled pace car duty, but it will also mark the 12th time a Corvette has held this di

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Although the C7 Corvette may have gotten snubbed at this year's Super Bowl, it looks like the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray will be front and center for some of the brightest lights in automotive racing. These spy shots show Chevrolet engineers testing a Stingray coupe with safety lights added to the front and rear of the car as we normally see on a pace car, and judging by the timing and the history of General Motors pacing the Indianapolis 500, it looks like this Corvette could be getting r

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Chevrolet handed over the keys to 33 Hot Wheels Camaro Convertible Indianapolis 500 festival cars this week. Race directors get the luxury of driving the droptops around Indianapolis in an ongoing tradition with roots all the way back to the 1960s. The stunt is supposed to remind area residents that the Indy 500 is right around the corner. The cars are our first look at the special Camaro Hot Wheels Edition in convertible form, and they are slated to head to dealers after a one-time production r

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Technologies like computer modeling and rapid prototyping have already changed the game when it comes to the design and development of passenger cars. But what about race cars, known for typically being further ahead of OEM development cycles? (The future of future development, if you will.) Many automotive innovations we use today trickled down from the racetrack. "IndyCar's technological heritage dates to the use of the first rearview mirror on an automobile during the inaugural Indianapolis

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Diners, Drive-ins and Dives persona Guy Fieri is making more news with garages these days than kitchens. The Food Network host, who recently had his Lamborghini Gallardo stolen and then recovered in a teen's storage container, has been selected to drive the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 pace car at the Indy 500 this year.

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When McLaren was bringing its new MP4-12C to the United States, there were fears that Americans wouldn't recognize the name. After all, the team from Woking is known principally for competing in Formula One, which has had a spotty presence in the U.S. at best. Those fears proved to be misplaced, as customers in the States have been snatching up all the McLaren supercars they can get their hands on. And part of that might come down to the days when McLaren didn't only race in America, it dominate

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Today Chevrolet announced that a 2013 Corvette ZR1 will pace this year's Indianapolis 500, marking the 23rd time that a Chevy has paced the race and the 11th time the Corvette has performed the duty. With 638 horsepower from its supercharged 6.2-liter V8, the Corvette ZR1 will be the most powerful production machine to serve as the race's pace car.

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Jim Nabors wasn't born or raised in Indiana, and he doesn't live there. Yet that hasn't prevented him from becoming one of the state's favorite sons. Singing "Back Home Again In Indiana" before the vast majority of Indianapolis 500 races over the past 40 years will do that for a guy.

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As Danica Patrick prepares for her first NASCAR Sprint Cup race next weekend in the Daytona 500, she's apparently taking advantage of the publicity to try to remediate her image. After seven years of promoting her attractiveness with nearly equal billing to her race driving acumen, Patrick has asked the media to quit calling her "sexy."

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Legendary driver A.J. Foyt has been hospitalized after suffering complications from knee surgery. The 77-year-old Foyt had the surgery two weeks ago and was slated to serve as the grand marshal for the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Jackie Stewart stepped in to handle those duties in Foyt's place this weekend.

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General Motors is celebrating the Chevrolet Centennial this year – and treating us to some nice historical footage, like this three-minute video celebrating the Bowtie brand's motorsports heritage. While Chevy's racing involvement in recent years has been mostly focused on NASCAR and its Corvette Le Mans program, the marque enjoys a wealth of history in almost every racing series.

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Formula 1 drivers are always looking for a new challenge. It's part of their character, and it's what's brought former champions out of retirement and sent former grand prix pilots in search of new series to conquer. That last bit has sent big names to series as varied as DTM and the Andros Trophy, but few forms of motor racing hold the kind of new challenge that oval speedways can provide. When you're used to twisting road courses and street circuits, America's banked turns require a whole new

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