Once again, the biggest track in NASCAR is embracing the state’s love of college football, although this time with an individual outside of its boundaries.
According to Patrick Magee of the Sun Herald, Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze will serve as the driver of the pace car for the May 3 race at Talladega Superspeedway. To say that Freeze, who is good friends with NASCAR drivers Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Danica Patrick, is excited about the opportunity to lead the 43 stock cars to the green flag at 120 mph would be an understatement.
“I am so jacked about that,” Freeze said according to Magee. “You have no idea, man. I love golf, fishing and NASCAR outside of my job and my family. That’s the three things I spend time doing.”
Freeze will be somewhat returning the favor to one driver in the field as Magee writes that “Stenhouse spoke to the Ole Miss football team prior to the 31-17 victory over Mississippi State on Nov. 29 in Oxford and helped Freeze lead the team onto the field.” The photo in the upper right of the post shows Stenhouse, left in the white jacket, running alongside Freeze in leading the Rebels out prior to the Egg Bowl.
Freeze’s appearance in a couple of months continues a Talladega tradition that’s grown over the years.
In 2014, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn served in the same capacity as his SEC West counterpart will this year. During the 2013 May race, Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron served as the pace-car driver as well. In 2012, Alabama legend Bear Bryant rode shotgun at the spring race.
And, while I’m here and given the subject matter, I’ll remind you that you can keep abreast of all of the latest racing news at both NASCARTalk and MotorSportsTalk. One other reminder? NASCAR will return to NBC Sports with the telecast of the race at the famed Daytona International Speedway Fourth of July weekend.
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