Panthers' Christian McCaffrey to drive pace car at NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600

Carolina Panthers' Christian McCaffrey
Posted at 3:15 PM, May 26, 2021

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) - Christian McCaffrey is used to going fast on the football field.

On Sunday, the Panthers' speedy running back will get a chance to show off his driving skills on the race track as the honorary pace car driver for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“I don’t know how fast I’m supposed to be going, but if there is a record I will try to get there - barring I don’t crash it,” McCaffrey joked Tuesday when told the track record is around 200 mph. “I don't want to be the only one to do that. I heard pace cars never crash, so if I can just get through it I will be happy.”

McCaffrey has become the face of the Panthers franchise and is a popular figure in Charlotte. In 2019 he became only the third player in NFL history to post 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in the same season, earning All-Pro honors.

“I'm really excited,” McCaffrey said. "I was a very honored they asked me to do that being in Charlotte and at a big race."

Former “Tonight Show” host and avid car collector Jay Leno and the show's former bandleader Kevin Eubanks will serve as grand marshals for the race.