No matter who wins the pole for the 2019 Daytona 500, they will start behind Dale Earnhardt Jr. He has been named as the pace truck driver for the season opening race.
The two-time Daytona 500 winner will lead the field to green for the 61st edition of the “Great American Race” in a Chevrolet Silverado pace truck. It will be the first time a truck has been used as a pace vehicle for the Daytona 500.
Chevrolet has previously paced the Daytona 500 on 12 occasions: seven with Camaro and five with Corvette.
“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,” Earnhardt said in a press release. “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.”
This year Earnhardt was the Grand Marshal for the Feb. 18 running of the 500, giving the command to start engines.
Earnhardt won the 2004 and 2014 editions of the 500. He has two July victories on the track as well.
“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,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet’s U.S. Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports in a press release. “It’ll be exciting to have Dale lead the field to green in the strongest, most advanced Silverado ever.”