Richard Petty will once again lead the Daytona 500 field but this time it will be from the specially prepared 2011 Mustang GT Daytona 500 pace car. The Race Red 2011 Mustang GT pace car with the all-new 5.0-liter V-8 will be the first Ford product to pace the field of The Great American Race since the 1970 Daytona 500.
“There’s nothing like the Daytona 500,” he said. “It’s one of the biggest races in the world and to be a part of it in this way is the next-best thing to actually being able to race. Who knows, maybe I’ll just stay out there for a few laps and see what those guys have got.”
This is also the first race for the newly combined team of Richard Petty and Yates Racing.
“We’re so thrilled to have Richard Petty returning to Ford,” said Jamie Allison, director of Ford North America Motorsports. “We wanted to do something that would make him feel like an integral part of our program right away, and having him behind the wheel of a 2011 Mustang GT to start the Daytona 500 is a perfect way to renew this relationship.
You might remember this 2011 Mustang GT pace car was sold at the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction for $300,000 with proceeds of the auction over MSRP going to benefit The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. After the Daytona 500 ends the owner will be presented with his car which as you may know is Ron Pratte who has bought a lot of Mustangs over the years at Barrett-Jackson.
Ford is also building 50 replicas of this 2011 Daytona 500 pace car for the public.