Calipari named honorary pace car official for Quaker State 400 - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Calipari named honorary pace car official for Quaker State 400

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SPARTA, Ky. (KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY) - University of Kentucky Men's Basketball Head Coach John Calipari will be the honorary Ford Fusion pace car official for Kentucky Speedway's June 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts. The coach won't be driving the car, but he will get to enjoy a high-speed ride along to help lead a 43-car field to the green flag just after 7:30 p.m.

"It's kind of like walking out in the Final Four and having your team behind you, excited and ready to go," Calipari said. "The last time I was part of this event it was incredible. This is a great thing that brings our people together. The state of Kentucky takes great pride in the facility like it does in basketball, like it does in horse racing, like it does in bourbon.

"The speed of it is what gets everybody hyped and understanding the courage of those drivers," Calipari continued. "We sit up in the stands and know how fast they are going, yet they have the courage to be inches from each other at that speed and have the vision and wherewithal to say 'I'm doing this, we're going to get this done'. Having a bunch of them that are the best in the world at what they do in one setting like this is going to be unbelievably exciting."

Calipari guided the 2011-12 Wildcats to the program's eighth NCAA Men's Basketball National Championship and 15th Final Four appearance.

"We welcome Coach Calipari back to our speedway and look forward to him leading one of the quickest fast breaks in history of our commonwealth," Kentucky Speedway General Manager Mark Simendinger said.

The Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts will be the finale for the speedway's tripleheader NASCAR weekend. Racing begins Thursday, June 27 with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) UNOH 225 and continues Friday, June 28 with the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) Feed The Children 300.

Race tickets, season/weekend ticket packages, and campsites along with daily infield Fan Zone passes that deliver a trackside view of Billy Currington's Quaker State 400 race-day concert presented by Kroger and driver introductions along with pit road access and more are on sale now at, (859) 578-2300 and the speedway offices at 1 Speedway Drive, Sparta, Ky., 41086, just off Interstate 71, Exit 57 and Ky. Hwy. 35.

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