Normally NASCAR news would fall under the purview of the fine folks at MotorSportsTalk.com, but when a two-time title-winning quarterback is involved we feel the need to at least touch on the subject.
The subject in this case is Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, who will serve as the honorary pace car driver for this Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway it was announced Tuesday. McCarron, a fan of the sport in general and the Alabama track in particular, said in a press release that he’s “always had a passion to get up to speed on the track.”
Unfortunately for the senior, he won’t actually be getting “up to speed” on the high-banked, restrictor-plate oval where speeds approach 200 miles per hour; in the pace car, McCarron will be limited to the pit road speed of 55 mph.
Prior to a Crimson Caravan appearance yesterday, head coach Nick Saban, who served as the grand marshal of the 2009 race and got to ride around in the pace car, was asked if he was concerned that the linchpin of his 2013 Tide offense would be tooling around Talladega at what’s essentially state-route speed. Unless McCarron gets behind the wheel of a jet dryer and Bob Griese’s favorite driver Juan Pablo Montoya is in the area, and with all due respect to the questioner, there’s literally no danger involved.
Saban, though, indicated he’s had a discussion with his quarterback, and actually wishes he’d be going faster than 55 mph around the 2.66 mile layout.
“Well, we talked about it,” the coach said according to al.com, adding, “If you don’t go 55 on the curve, you’re not going to stay up on the curve, so it’s actually safer to go faster.”
This weekend will mark the fourth consecutive year that a title-winning school from Alabama has been honored with a paint scheme — and one way cool helmet — on the No. 55/No. 15 Aaron’s car at the Talladega spring race. Three of those paint schemes, of course, feted the Tide, while the Auburn Tigers were similarly honored in 2011.
Incidentally, former Atlanta Braves icon Chipper Jones will serve as the grand marshal for the race.