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Donald Trump backs out of Indy 500 drive

Donald Trump speaks to a crowd of 600

Donald Trump speaks to a crowd of 600 people during a gathering of Republican women's groups in Las Vegas. (April 28, 2011) Credit: AP

Maybe someone asked him for a birth certificate or a license to operate a motor vehicle. Or maybe he is really running for president. Whatever the reason, Donald Trump will not drive the pace car at this year's Indy 500.

Here's the release from the folks at Indy:

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 5, 2011 - Donald J. Trump today informed the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that he may be announcing shortly his intention to run for the office of President of the United States, and therefore he thought it would be inappropriate to drive the Pace Car for the 100th anniversary running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29.

"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."

Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and chief executive officer, noted that he respects Trump's position and appreciated the communication regarding this decision.

"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."

The driver of the Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Pace Car for the May 29 race will be announced later this month.

New York Sports