1997, when John Middlebrook served as Chevrolet's general
manager, he said: "Corvette is now, and will continue
to remain Chevrolet's flagship. It is our technological
and image showcase. Even more importantly, Corvette
stands as the most singularly dramatic example of what
we mean by 'Genuine Chevrolet.' Corvette is much more
than just a car. It's a love affair. Words alone fail
to convey the passion it inspires."
11 years later, Middlebrook, who retired July 1 as GM
vice president of global sales, service and marketing
operations, shared with the world his passion for Corvette,
the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and NASCAR as he leads
the field to green in the 2008 Corvette Z06 Pace Car
for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on July 27, 2008.
is great honor for me to have the opportunity to drive
the Corvette Z06 Pace Car at the Indianapolis Motor
Speedway," Middlebrook said. "There is a tremendous
Chevrolet heritage at the Speedway dating back to the
involvement of Louis Chevrolet in the Indianapolis 500
in the early-1900s. To play a small role in continuing
that tradition behind the wheel of the 505-horsepower
Corvette Pace Car for NASCAR's 15th Allstate 400 at
the Brickyard is a memory I will embrace."
whose career with General Motors spanned nearly five
decades, has made tremendous contributions to GM in
a variety of roles over his career and is well known
and highly respected and admired throughout the industry
as a true sales and marketing professional.
has been an outstanding steward of motorsports throughout
his career, and it's only fitting to pay tribute to
what he's meant to GM and to the sport by having him
drive the Pace Car at the Brickyard," said Ed Peper,
North American vice president of Chevrolet. "He
is a true leader, and all of Chevy will be cheering
him on as he drives the car he lovesthe Corvette
Z06 Pace Caras he leads the entire NASCAR Sprint
Cup starting field to the green flag in Sunday's race
at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway."
Joie Chitwood, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president
and chief operating officer: "John Middlebrook
has been a valued friend and business partner of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway for decades. His leadership,
knowledge and experience have been a driving force behind
the longstanding relationship between IMS and Chevrolet.
We're looking forward to seeing him drive the Allstate
400 at the Brickyard field to the green in a Corvette
marks the 15th time that Chevrolet has paced the Allstate
400 at the Brickyard and the fourth consecutive time
Corvette has led the pack. Chevrolet's pacing tradition
at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway also extends to the
Indianapolis 500 where Chevrolet has paced that esteemed
race 19 times with Corvette leading the field 10 times.
Allstate 400 at the Brickyard Pace Cars:
- Corvette Z06
2007 - Corvette Z06
2006 - Corvette Z06
2005 - SSR
2004 - Monte Carlo
2003 - Monte Carlo
2002 - Monte Carlo
2001 - Monte Carlo
2000 - Monte Carlo
1999 - Monte Carlo
1998 - Monte Carlo
1997 - Monte Carlo
1996 - Camaro
1995 - C/K 1500
1994 - Monte Carlo
IMS President and COO Joie Chitwood, right, helped to
unveil the Corvette Z06 Pace Car for the 2008 Allstate
400 at the Brickyard during an event July 24 at IMS.
Chevrolet officials pose with Corvette Z06 pace car
prior to start of Allstate 400 At The Brickyard.