The 2019 Silverado 1500 and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will lead the field to green for next year’s running of the Daytona 500.
The former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star and occasional NASCAR announcer will drive the updated Silverado during formation laps ahead of the 61st running of The Great American Race. Surprisingly, this will be the first time the Daytona 500 will be paced by a pickup truck. We know they aren’t performance cars, but you’d think the most popular vehicle type in America would have paced the most American race before.
Earnhardt is understandably excited to pace the 500 – not only is it the biggest race of the year, it’s one of his most successful tracks. He won the Daytona 500 twice, once in 2004 and again in 2014, and also won the July race twice. He also scored 13 top 5 finishes and 19 top 10s in 36 NASCAR Cup Series career starts at the famous Florida raceway.
“I’ve had a lot of fun and a lot of success at Daytona over the years, and now I can’t wait to get out on that track in a Silverado,” said Earnhardt Jr. “Away from the track I’ve driven Chevy trucks all my life, and I’m excited to have this unique experience of pacing the Daytona 500 with the Silverado.”
The 2019 Silverado 1500 pace truck has the 420 hp and 460 lb-ft 6.2-liter V8 and 10-speed automatic transmission, along with some Daytona 500 decals and the necessary pace lights. The Silverado will be the 13th Chevy to pace the 500. So far seven of those have been Camaros and five have been Corvettes.
“Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the perfect choice to pace the race because of his enthusiasm for the sport, his long history with Chevrolet and his love of trucks,” concluded vice president of Chevy motorsports Jim Campbell. “It’ll be exciting to have Dale lead the field to green in the strongest, most advanced Silverado ever.”
The 2019 Silverado 1500 is on sale at Chevy dealers now.