Roll Tide! Alabama’s AJ McCarron to drive pace car at Talladega
By Zac Ellis
Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron might have two BCS titles under his belt, but he’s set for a new kind of thrill this weekend. The Crimson Tide quarterback will serve as an honorary pace car driver at Talladega Superspeedway for Sunday’s Aaron’s 499, the track announced Tuesday.
“I have enjoyed races at Talladega before and have always had a passion to get up to speed on the track,” McCarron said in a release. “This is an incredible opportunity, and to be able to do it in front of the most famous drivers in the world, is something I am really looking forward to.”
Alabama coach Nick Saban, who served as the grand marshal of the race in 2009, said he offered McCarron some advice about avoiding temptation behind the wheel.
“When I rode in the pace car, they only went 55, and [McCarron] told me he was driving,” Saban told AL.com. “I said, ‘Look, you need to let someone else drive and go 55.’”
McCarron, a Mobile, Ala., native, grew up about four hours from Talladega. He led the country in passing efficiency last season, completed 67.2 percent of his passes and threw for 2,933 yards and 30 touchdowns. The Crimson Tide won their second straight BCS title in January with McCarron under center.
Alabama fans need not worry about potential violations: McCarron’s appearance at Talladega should not conflict with any NCAA rules, the track said. Like Saban, they can worry about the speed limit instead.