Indiana fan-favorite ruled out from driving Indy 500 pace car

Caitlin Clark will not drive the pace car to lead the field of 33 to the green flag at the start of the 108th running of the Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Indy 500, IndyCar
Indy 500, IndyCar / Chris Graythen/GettyImages

The subjects of honorary pace car drivers and honorary race starters are often among the more lighthearted topics discussed by IndyCar fans ahead of the annual Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and that has been true again this year ahead of the 108th running.

Former Iowa Hawkeyes basketball star Caitlin Clark, who broke the all-time NCAA scoring record this past season, was recently selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA Draft by the Indiana Fever.

She naturally shot to the top of the celebrity pace car driver wish list of a large portion of Indiana race fans planning to pack the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) Speedway, Indiana oval on race day. However, it has been confirmed that Clark will not be the celebrity driver of this year's pace car.

Honorary pace car driver, starter TBD for 2024 Indy 500

The honorary pace car driver has not yet been announced for this year, and neither has the honorary starter, though she technically has not been ruled out from the latter; the logistics would just be quite difficult with the Fever scheduled to place the night before.

Last year's celebrity pace car driver was Indiana Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton, and last year's celebrity starter was actor and Marine Corps veteran Adam Driver.

This year's pace car, the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray 3LZ coupe, is set to be driven by Sarah Fisher during caution periods. Fisher, who also served as the honorary driver in 2022, has held this role since 2017, when she took over from Johnny Rutherford.

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The 108th running of the Indy 500 is scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 26, and it is set to be broadcast live on NBC from Indianapolis Motor Speedway starting at 11:00 a.m. ET (watch free here with FuboTV!). Practice is scheduled to commence on Tuesday, May 14, and qualifying is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19.