Chuck Yeager, the first man to fly faster than the speed
Mar. 14, 1986
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Chuck Yeager, the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound, has been selected to drive the pace car during the 1986 Indianapolis 500.
The retired Air Force brigadier general will be at the wheel of a bright yellow 1986 Chevrolet Corvette for the May 25 race. It will be the first time since 1978 that the race will have a street-legal automobile as its pace car.
The selection of Yeager was announced Thursday by Chevrolet and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which hosts the annual race by Indy-cars.
Officials said Yeager, a consulting test pilot for the Northrop Corporation since 1980 and a spokesman for the AC-Delco Division of General Motors since 1982, will be making several trips to Indianapolis in May to prepare for his race-day activities.
Yeager will be in Indianapolis Monday when Chevrolet officials present a Corvette pace car to the Speedway for display in its automotive Hall of Fame Museum.
On Oct. 14, 1947, Yeager became the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound and on Dec. 12, 1953 he became the first man to fly more than twice the speed of sound.
The roadster that will be on display is one of the first of the new soft- top Corvettes off the line at the General Motors plant in Bowling Green, Ky., the automaker announced.
When Yeager takes the track for the 70th Indianapolis 500, it will mark the seventh time that a Chevrolet has been the pace car and the second time for a Corvettte.