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Donald Trump decides not to drive pace car at Indianapolis 500

May 5, 2011 | 11:48 am

Lhuv0vnc While starring in a weekly reality TV show may be appropriate for a potential presidential candidate, driving the pace car in the Indianapolis 500 apparently is not.

In a move that is sure to please the more than 17,500 fans of "We Don't Want Donald Trump to Drive the Indy 500 Pace Car" on Facebook, Donald Trump informed the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday that he will not take part in the event after all.

According to the speedway's website, the real estate mogul and star of NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" said driving the pace car at the May 29 race would be inappropriate since he soon may be announcing his intention to run for the Republican nomination for president.

More than a month after saying he "can't wait to get behind the wheel" of the pace car and less than four weeks before the event, Trump also said the practice sessions would not fit into his busy schedule.

"I very much appreciate the honor, but time and business constraints make my appearance there, especially with the necessary practice sessions, impossible to fulfill," Trump said. "I look forward to watching the race from New York."

Or maybe he's actually going to be the secret driver in the crazy Hot Wheels stunt before the race instead.

A new pace car driver will be announced later this month, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Belskus said.

"Donald Trump has been very enthusiastic about the ‘500’ from the beginning of our conversations, and I have appreciated the interaction we have had with him and his staff,” Belskus said. "From my first conversation, I was impressed by his deep understanding of the event and history, and I thank him for being a true fan."


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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Donald Trump. Credit: Andrew Gombert / EPA