SPEEDWAY - A NASCAR legend will lead the field for the 25th running of the Brickyard 400. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who retired in 2017, will drive the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Pace Car to start the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

This year's race is the first to take place in September and will serve as the finale of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular season. Earnhardt, who now serves as a television analyst for NBC Sports, calls driving the pace car at the Brickyard 400 an honor.

"The fan in me was already looking forward to this event," said Earnhardt. "It's a big race. There is a lot at stake since it's the final chance for the teams and drivers to make the Playoffs. So, I hope to do a good job leading the field to the green flag, but I can promise you I'll soak in every minute and enjoy the Brickyard in a way I never have before."

IMS President Doug Boles says Earnhardt will pull double duty at the race. Once he is finished driving the pace car at the start, he will head up to the broadcast booth to cover the race for NBC Sports. 

"Dale Jr. will enjoy a unique and exciting Race Day this year at the Brickyard," said Boles. "Everyone at IMS and all of our loyal fans can't wait to welcome back one of the most admired drivers to ever turn a wheel at IMS, and his role as Pace Car driver adds even more excitement to our action-packed week of racing, music and family fun."

This year's race takes place Saturday, September 8 at 4:00 p.m.