Saban: McCarron needs to let someone else drive Talladega pace car
by Star staff
Apr 30, 2013 | 5256 views |  0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron will serve as honorary pace car driver for the Aaron’s 499, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday.

His coach, Nick Saban, won’t say if he’s a nervous about McCarron driving at the Talladega Superspeedway.

Saban served as the Aaron’s 499 grand marshall in 2009.

“We talked about it,” Saban told reporters Tuesday night before a Crimson Caravan event in Hoover. “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.’”

Saban added, “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.”

McCarron will get behind the wheel of a special Ford Mustang GT, the race’s official pace car, and will lead the field of 43 cars around Talladega’s 33-degree banking before the start of the race.

In a news release, McCarron said he has enjoyed the races at Talladega and always “had a passition to get up to speed on the track.”

“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,” said.

Before the start of the annual A-Day Game on April 21, McCarron and his teammates saw an unveiling of a special Alabama national championship paint scheme of Michael Waltrip’s No. 55 Aaron’s Toyota, which will race in the Aaron’s 499.

 “AJ has had such amazing success at Alabama, and that is known all over the country,” Talladega Superspeedway chairman Grant Lynch said.  “We know the drivers and fans are going to be excited to have him here for the Aaron’s 499.

“I’m sure, as soon as the crowd sees him in our Ford Mustang GT Pace Car, there’s going to be a lot of noise made.”

McCarron has quarterbacked the Crimson Tide to two national titles. Alabama is the only school to win consecutive titles under the BCS system.

Saban said it wasn’t a big deal to ride in the pace car.

“You only go the first lap. You only go about 55, then they pull you off, then they speed off and then you're standing there where they really hit the line and that's where you really get the feel for the power surge that everybody is sort of experiencing out there,” he said.
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