He made you sob uncontrollably through The Fault in Our Stars, want to pack up on a mystery road trip in Paper Towns, and ponder the meaning of life and death in Looking for Alaska, and now YA author John Green is surprising us again with a totally off-the-wall new job. The Indianapolis native will be an honorary pace car driver for the Angie's List Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This is not fiction.
So, what's a pace car driver, exactly? For all you non-IndyCar lovers, a pace car sets the (yes) pace during warm-up laps and during the actual race temporarily if there are hazardous conditions. The car also positions all the racers on the course. Clearly for a IndyCar fan as big as Green, this is a huge deal.
“I’m thrilled,” Green told The IndyStar newspaper. “This is so cool.”
Green will be driving a $60,000 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe, which according to The Los Angeles Times, can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds — not too shabby. Nothing but the best for the man who brought Gus and Hazel Grace into this world for readers to fall in love with, right?
In an interview with IndyStar, Green gushed about his love for IndyCar, saying that he was even involved with the fantasy league, with drivers Helio Castroneves, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Takuma Sato, and Jack Hawksworth on his team.
“I will do my best to be a completely neutral pace-car driver. But I’m aware of the fact how I perform in my fantasy league is important,” he quipped.
This isn't the first time Green has been behind the wheel of a race car. Last year, Green raced fellow YA author Maggie Stiefvater in a charity event in Princeton, Minnesota. Green's car went up in flames (!!!!), though the author wasn't hurt, and Stiefvater beat him handily.
Um, this is good news for you and all, John. But please be careful because we're all eagerly waiting for your next book.