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49ers

49er Head Coach Jim Harbaugh To Drive Pace Car At Indy 500

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San Francisco 49ers head coach, Jim Harbaugh, speaks with the media during a media availability session for Super Bowl XLVII at the New Orleans Marriot on January 28, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

San Francisco 49ers head coach, Jim Harbaugh, speaks with the media during a media availability session for Super Bowl XLVII at the New Orleans Marriot on January 28, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) – San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh will return to Indianapolis on Sunday to drive the Indianapolis 500 pace car.

Track officials made the later-than-usual announcement in a news release sent out early Wednesday morning.

In a statement released by track officials, the NFL coach called the opportunity a “tremendous thrill.”

Harbaugh has strong ties to the Indianapolis area. He played four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, where he earned the nickname “Captain Comeback,” and is a part-time owner of Indianapolis-based Panther Racing. JR Hildebrand, who starts 10th, and Townsend Bell, who starts 22nd, both drive for Panther.

Harbaugh led the 49ers to the NFC championship last season but lost in the Super Bowl to a Baltimore team coached by his brother, John. Harbaugh’s brother-in-law is Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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