Thursday, July 13, 2017

Patriots' Josh McDaniels to Drive Overton's 301 Pace Car

Patriots' Josh McDaniels to Drive Overton's 301 Pace Car
Patriots' Josh McDaniels to Drive Overton's 301 Pace Car #NASCAR
Josh McDaniels (center) was a race dignitary in 2014 with then-Governor
Maggie Hassan and Patriots WR Julian Edelman. (NHMS/HHP)

The man calling the plays that helped Tom Brady and the New England Patriots orchestrate the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history will serve as the official pace car driver for the Overton's 301 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will pace the field before pulling down pit road as 40 cars speed down the frontstretch to start the Overton's 301 on July 16.

Patriots' Josh McDaniels to Drive Overton's 301 Pace Car #NASCAR
"I enjoy NASCAR and love coming up to New Hampshire Motor Speedway whenever I get a chance," said Josh McDaniels, offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots.

"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."

McDaniels has been with the Patriots for 13 seasons, eight as the team's offensive coordinator. In eight seasons as the Pats offensive coordinator, McDaniels has guided the offense to six top-10 rankings, including the NFL's No. 1 ranked offense in 2007 and 2012. Additionally, quarterback Tom Brady has been elected to the Pro Bowl six times and eclipsed 4,000 yards passing for the eighth time in 2016.

McDaniels's play-calling was instrumental in the Patriots rallying back from a 28-3 third-quarter deficit in February's Super Bowl. New England tied the game late and eventually won in overtime. The win not only sealed the deal on the Patriots fifth championship, but also won a bet between a pair of speedway general managers.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway's David McGrath and Atlanta Motor Speedway's Ed Clark put everything from regional food favorites to premium race tickets on the line for the Feb. 5 title game. New England's win meant Clark had to hang a Patriots flag outside the Atlanta Motor Speedway office building the day after the Super Bowl and during Atlanta's NASCAR race week. The win also gave four Patriots/New Hampshire Motor Speedway fans premium tickets to the March 5 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at AMS. On July 16, the bet will be officially complete when Clark, wearing a Patriots jersey, presents McGrath, McDaniels and the Overton's 301 race winner with a case of Georgia Peaches in Sunoco Victory Lane.

"You can't go wrong with a New England Patriot starting your race and being there at the end of it, too," said David McGrath, executive vice president and general manager of the speedway. "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."

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (July 2014), defensive end Rob Ninkovich (July 2015), and Matt Light (Sept. 2016) have all been pace car drivers but McDaniels is the first Patriots coach and fourth member of the Patriots to get behind the wheel of the Toyota Camry Pace Car for a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Other notables include Olympic triathlete Sarah True, Dave Matthews Band bassist Stefan Lessard, and Boston Bruins legend Brad Park.

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