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Jay Leno To Drive Indy 500 Pace Car

February 11, 1999

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Comedian Jay Leno will drive the Chevrolet Monte Carlo pace car at the start of the Indianapolis 500 on May 30.

Leno, host of NBC’s ``Tonight Show,″ is an automobile enthusiast who owns dozens of vintage cars and motorcycles. He was the emcee at the annual Indy 500 Victory Banquet in 1991 and rode in the pace car for two parade laps before the 1994 race.

Leno’s ``Tonight Show″ predecessor, Johnny Carson, visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1967 and was tutored by Mario Andretti after he asked to drive Andretti’s turbine-powered race car.

Golfer Greg Norman was to have driven the Chevrolet Corvette pace car last year, but he was replaced by former Indy winner Parnelli Jones after Norman had shoulder surgery.

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