New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is used to making calls that set drives in motion, but soon he’ll be tasked with setting 40 drivers in motion.
McDaniels is set to become the first Patriots coach to drive the Toyota Camry pace car at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16, as he’ll lead the drivers to the start of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Overton’s 301.
“I enjoy NASCAR and love coming up to New Hampshire Motor Speedway whenever I get a chance,” McDaniels, said in a statement. “Driving the pace car to start the race is about as exciting as it gets. I know we have had players at the Patriots take a turn in the pace car, and I heard how much they enjoyed the experience. I look forward to my chance to do it. It will be fun to spend the day at the track.”
In addition to being on track for the off, McDaniels also will be in Sunoco Victory Lane afterward as Atlanta Motor Speedway president Ed Clark makes good on his Super Bowl bet with NHMS vice president David McGrath. Clark will present McGrath, McDaniels and the race-winning driver with a case of Georgia Peaches.
“You can’t go wrong with a New England Patriot starting your race and being there at the end of it, too,” McGrath said, according to a press release. “Josh is one of the most well-respected football coaches in the country and I think he is the perfect person to lead the field to green on July 16.”
The 41-year-old McDaniels will be the fourth member of the Patriots to pace a Cup race at NHMS, and the third to do so during the July event. Wide receiver Julian Edelman and defensive end Rob Ninkovich kicked off the summer rounds in 2014 and 2015, respectfully, and defensive end Matt Light started the most-recent race in Loudon, N.H., in September.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images