2016 Olympic gold medalist Lilly King will drive the pace car to open the 5th annual IndyCar Grand Prix on Saturday, May 12th at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 85-lap, 207.315 mile road course race is a lead-in event for the Indianapolis 500, the IndyCar circuit’s premier race, which will be held on May 27th.
King receives the ceremonial honor of driving the pace car that leads the starting field to the green flag that officially starts the race.
“I’m super-excited to be able to drive the Pace Car for the INDYCAR Grand Prix,” King said. “As a homegrown Hoosier, there is nothing cooler than being able to drive at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
King was born and raised in Evansville, Indiana and currently competes for Indiana University. She’s a 6-time NCAA Champion, having swept the 100 and 200 yard breaststrokes in each of her 3 seasons of college swimming so far, and is a 12-time CSCAA All-American. She’s also a 3-time Big Ten Swimmer of the Year.
Internationally, King won gold medals at the 2016 Olympic Games in the 100 breaststroke individually and as part of Indiana’s 400 medley relay. She’s the current long course World Record holder in the 50 and 100 meter breaststrokes; the American Record holder in the 50 breaststroke short course; and the fastest-ever in the 100 and 200 yard breaststrokes.
Last year, the honor was given to former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Robert Mathis, who was born in Atlanta but spent his entire 14-year NFL career in Indianapolis. He was a 6-time Pro Bowl selection in his career.