INDIANAPOLIS -- From the moment Jeff Gordon got the phone call that he was being asked to lead the Indianapolis 500 field to green in a Corvette Z06 pace car, he knew he was in for a memorable day.

So was it as special as he thought it would be?

"It sure was," Gordon smiled. "To come down that front straightaway the first time and hear that crowd cheering for the cars, the drivers, and this amazing event -- to be able to hear that from inside the pace car with the windows down is just amazing."

The driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS quipped that he has seen his fair share of poor pace car drivers, so he put pressure on himself to get the cars up to speed properly, maintain that speed and then get off the track with a big enough gap for the cars to take the green flag.

"Not to mention that the pace car has to get after it pretty good out here because that last lap is 100 miles per hour and through the corners, maintaining that is something," he explained. "So that was definitely cool. A huge thrill and a huge honor.”

Gordon joked that the hardest part of the entire ordeal was getting out of the car.

"It's such a great car -- I want to take it home with me," he said, noting that it was tough to leave the Indy 500 early. "But certainly have a lot to do in Charlotte as well this evening."

Gordon planned to stick around to watch a few laps of the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before heading to the airport to fly to Concord, North Carolina, and make it to Charlotte Motor Speedway in time for the drivers' meeting.

Though he won't need any extra motivation for this evening's 600-mile race in his final full-time Sprint Cup Series season, pacing the field at the Indianpolis 500 certainly provided it.

And he's ready to put on a show for the fans.

"This whole year has just been incredible from the fan interaction, racetracks, this phone call, this moment," he said. "This is a very, very special year."