NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jamie McMurray got a taste of life in the National Football League on Tuesday as the driver of the No. 1 McDonald’s/Cessna Chevrolet SS Chevrolet participated in offseason training activities with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
McMurray and Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III were at the Jaguars training facility promoting the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 5.
McMurray and Chitwood were worked through drills during the first hour of practice at the fields adjacent to EverBank Field.
“Dale Jr. actually sent me a text last week at a test and asked me about doing fantasy football,” McMurray said. “I’ve never done it before. This year is going to be my first time. It’s nice to get down here and meet these guys and see everything they go through.”
“It’s all about the athletes,” Chitwood said. “When you can put those together, it’s a great opportunity.”
Among the activities the duo performed were returning punts, catching passes alongside quarterbacks Blake Bortles and Stephen Morris and pushing the blocking sled. The Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates driver wore a black No. 1 jersey while Chitwood wore No. 59 signifying the first year of operation of Daytona International Speedway.
Following practice, McMurray and Chitwood spoke to the team. Chitwood presented a Jaguars-themed driver’s helmet autographed by all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers and McMurray gave a crew shirt to the organization.
The grueling and hot practice was an eye opener for both McMurray and Chitwood.
“Water boy would probably be the best spot,” McMurray joked about what position he could play in the NFL. “It’s crazy how big all the guys are and then to see how small some of them are at the same time and they go up against each other fighting for the same piece of property.”
“Speed in racing is a big deal,” Chitwood said. “When you go out there and see these athletes at speed is pretty impressive. It doesn’t translate on TV. When you see them out there practicing, it’s amazing how fast things happen. It’s definitely something that I appreciated today.”
McMurray, who captured the 2010 Daytona 500 and won the Coke Zero 400 in 2007, will return to the “World Center of Racing” in a few weeks for the Independence Day holiday classic with hopes of adding another Daytona win to his resume and a spot in the Chase.
“When I look at Daytona, that’s kind of a wild card race that I think a lot of guys have an opportunity to win,” McMurray said. “I’ve won both races at Daytona in the past. I look forward to coming down here every time we race here but this year more than anything because guys are trying to get that one win to get into the Chase. Daytona is going to be a big event.”
The stars of NASCAR return to Daytona International Speedway on July 3-5. Tickets to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.
You can also catch the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola live from Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, July 5 at 6:30 p.m. ET on TNT. The race will also be broadcast on MRN Radio and SiriusXM.Fans can follow NASCAR and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtag #NASCAR and #COKEZERO400. Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.
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