Coming off of two national titles, AJ McCarron is a popular figure in the state of Alabama. He is about to hit an all-time high for exposure when he reaches out to the fans on Sunday at Talladega Motor Speedway.
McCarron is the honorary pace car driver for Sunday’s Aaron's 499 (h/t ESPN) at the legendary Alabama-based NASCAR track.
He will drive a modified Ford Mustang GT, according to the report.
The appearance is coupled with Michael Waltrip’s No. 55 Aaron’s sponsored Toyota that will sport an Alabama national title paint scheme.
For the past three years, the Aaron’s car has been adorned with national title wraps in honor of the Alabama 2009 and 2011 teams, and the Auburn 2010 team.
Nick Saban has experienced the pace car setting before, but only as a passenger. In 2009 he served as grand marshal for the race. Saban told the media (h/t al.com) "When I rode in the pace car, they only went 55, and he told me he was driving. I said, 'Look, you need to let someone else drive and go 55.' "
McCarron will follow his coach’s advice and should be OK once he hits the track.
When the press release about the ride dropped (h/t College Football Talk), McCarron said he “always had a passion to get up to speed on the track.” Hopefully they let him go a little faster than 55.
Unless they have a restrictor plate keeping him that low, he should just floor it anyway, channeling his inner Ricky Bobby.
It’s not every day that you get to drive on the tracks at Talladega, so this will be a lasting memory for McCarron and the fans in attendance.
As the Tide continues to roll through college football, legends will continue to be built for one of the game’s most powerful programs.