Setting The Pace

Get out your crayons. No, make that your computers. General Motors is partnering with, America Online and Electronic Art for a Pontiac Grand Prix design contest to promote the vehicle’s role as the official pace car of the 2003 Daytona 500.

Pontiac is asking Nascar fans to submit proposals for the pace car’s paint scheme through an online system, and then to vote for their favorite. Contestants will be able to electronically design a complete pace-car paint scheme on a three-dimensional model of the vehicle.

The two-phase promotion begins with race fans submitting their design proposals online at www.pontiac After Pontiac pares the list to five finalists, the contending designs will be posted on the Web site. Fans will get to vote for their favorite design Oct. 25 through Nov. 26.

Each of the finalists will win a trip to next year’s Daytona 500. The winning design will be unveiled in a special ceremony before the race on Feb. 16.

The winner of the design contest will also receive a special parade lap around the Daytona International Speedway track in the official Pontiac Grand Prix Daytona 500 pace car driven by actor Vin Diesel.

The promotion was handled by Digitas in Boston.