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Hope Solo to drive Brickyard pace car

United States goalkeeper Hope Solo stops a shot

United States goalkeeper Hope Solo stops a shot during a training session of the US team ahead of the Women's Soccer World Cup in Dresden, Germany. (June 24, 2011) Credit: AP

Hope Solo, the goalkeeper for the U.S. women's soccer team in the World Cup, will be driving the pace car for tomorrow's Brickyard 400.  

Here's the official release from Indy:

INDIANAPOLIS - United States women's national soccer team goalkeeper Hope Solo will drive the 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car at the 2011 Brickyard 400, leading the starting field to the green flag Sunday, July 31 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Solo became a worldwide sensation earlier this month as one of the leaders of the U.S. national team that advanced to the Women's World Cup final in Germany, losing to Japan on penalty kicks. She was named the top goalkeeper of the tournament and was named to the 2011 World Cup all-tournament team.

"We're thrilled to welcome Hope Solo as the Pace Car driver for the Brickyard 400," said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and chief executive officer. "Hope and her teammates captivated all of America with their fighting spirit during the Women's World Cup, and her presence as Pace Car driver adds to the prestige and excitement of this great event."

Solo led the United States to the gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing with a stunning performance in a 1-0 victory over Brazil in the gold-medal game. She has made 101 appearances for the U.S. in international play.

"I'm honored to have the unique privilege of driving the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car at the Brickyard 400," Solo said. "It's going to be so much fun. The entire world of NASCAR and its people are such a new and exciting experience for me."

Solo, a native of Richland, Wash., was a three-time All-American and four-time all-Pac 10 selection while playing for the University of Washington from 1999-2002.

She has played professionally in Europe and the United States since 2002 and has been the starting goalkeeper this season for magicJack (South Florida) of Women's Professional Soccer. She was named WPS goalkeeper of the year in 2009 while playing for Saint Louis Athletica.

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