Retired NASCAR star Jeff Gordon will drive the pace car at the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Retired NASCAR star Jeff Gordon is getting back behind the wheel _ of a pace car.

The four-time Cup Series champion will lead the field to the green flag for the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July.

Gordon is the only person to win the Brickyard 400 five times (1994, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2014).

The California native grew up in Pittsboro, Indiana, and has served as a NASCAR analyst for Fox Sports since retiring full time from the Cup Series in 2015. He competed in the Brickyard 400 last year for Hendrick Motorsports as part of a limited schedule while filling in for injured Dale Earnhardt Jr.

"This has been a very special race over the years -- for me and NASCAR," Gordon said. "Winning at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a dream of mine as a kid. I'm excited to lead the field to green at this year's Brickyard 400, and I appreciate Doug Boles and Chevrolet for giving me this opportunity."

Gordon will drive a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 pace car.

With 93 Cup victories, Gordon ranks third on the all-time list. He won the inaugural Brickyard 400 on Aug. 6, 1994 at IMS. It was the first race for vehicles other than open-wheel cars at the facility since 1909 and the first race of any kind at IMS other than the Indianapolis 500 since 1916.

Gordon competed in the first 23 Brickyard 400 races, with five victories, three poles and 17 top-10 finishes.

Hoosier racing fans also remember Gordon for his success in United States Auto Club (USAC) competition before moving to NASCAR. Gordon was the 1990 USAC National Midget Series champion and followed with the 1991 USAC Silver Crown Series championship.

"Jeff Gordon is one of the greatest drivers to ever compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and we're honored to welcome him back to pace the 24th annual Brickyard 400," IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. "It's only fitting Jeff will be out front and leading, a place where the fans of this great race are accustomed to seeing him."


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