2010 Daytona 500 champion Jamie McMurray and 2010 Bassmaster Classic champion Kevin VanDam tried each other’s professions during Coke Zero 400 Media Day.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Jamie McMurray won his sport’s biggest and most prestigious event – the 2010 Daytona 500. Exactly one week later, five-time Angler of the Year Kevin VanDam pulled a similar feat by winning the 2010 Bassmaster Classic, the biggest and most prestigious event in professional fishing.
On Tuesday, both Bass Pro Shops-sponsored athletes tried each other’s professions at Daytona International Speedway promoting the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 3 and the “Reels and Wheels” ticket package.
First on the schedule was fishing on the waters of Lake Lloyd, a 29-acre lake located in the heart of Daytona International Speedway.
Fishing in a Bass Pro Nitro Z-9 boat decorated with their names and Daytona 500 and Bassmaster Classic champion logos, VanDam, a five-time Angler of the Year and three-time Bassmaster Classic champion, schooled McMurray in the art of landing a big fish.
Following lunch, McMurray, who first came to Daytona as a kid racing karts, showed VanDam the twists and turns of karting with High Performance Karts from the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
“Kevin might be the best angler of all time,” McMurray said. “To be out on the water with him, and not only watch him fish, but listen to him talk about everything that goes along with fishing that I think the general angler doesn’t always take into consideration, it’s really fun to watch professionals do their sport. It was also gratifying to come over to the go-kart track and redeem myself a little bit.”
In less than two weeks, McMurray will return to the “World Center of Racing” with his Earnhardt Ganassi Racing team and try to become the fifth driver in Daytona history to sweep both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events in the same year.
Only Fireball Roberts, Cale Yarborough, LeeRoy Yarbrough and Bobby Allison have been able to complete the sweep of the Daytona 500 and the mid-summer classic in the same year.
McMurray will also try to be the final driver to win on the current asphalt of Daytona International Speedway.
Following the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, Daytona International Speedway will be repaved and the project will be completed in time for Speedweeks 2011 and the 53rd annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20.
“The July race here at Daytona is about getting your car to handle,” McMurray said. “The guy that can make his car run wide open the longest will be the one to win this race.
“It would be really special to sweep, just to win another race would be big. This is one of my favorite tracks that we come to. I think I’ve done about 10 Goodyear tire tests here. I’ve run a bunch of laps here even when we’re not racing. I have always enjoyed coming down here since I was a kid racing go-karts with my parents.”
VanDam hopes to witness McMurray pull off the sweep.
He will return for the Independence Day holiday classic serving as a Honorary Race Official. VanDam and McMurray are part of a unique ticket package – “Reels and Wheels” – which includes a race ticket, a Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race Pit Pass and a fishing 101 fan forum with VanDam and McMurray.
To purchase Reels and Wheels, click here
Tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Weekend are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com
or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.