For most of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series, a new face will be behind the wheel of the pace car. Former INDYCAR driver and team owner Sarah Fisher will handle pace car duties for the majority of this season’s races.
Fisher will drive the pace car for all but two races this season. Johnny Rutherford, a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner, will drive the pace car for the Phoenix Grand Prix next month and the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May. The honorary Indy 500 pace car driver who leads the pace laps before the race has yet to be named.
"Having worked with J.R. when I was a rookie (driver), and to follow in his footprints now is just an incredible honor," said Fisher. "I’ve lived for the sport of Indy car racing and when Jay (Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations) offered me the position to pace the field, I didn’t think twice about my commitment again to the sport that I love."
Rutherford has driven the pace car since 1996 but has recently scaled down his schedule. Fisher will begin her new duties this Sunday at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.