John Calipari to drive pace car at Quaker State 400

John Calipari stands in front of the car he'll drive to pace the field at the Quaker State 400. (USATSI)

With the state of Kentucky hosting its biggest NASCAR event of the year, Louisville couldn't be the only basketball program getting local love on the track.

News broke last week that Brian Vickers' car would be painted to honor the national-champion Cardinals. On Wednesday, the event announced that Kentucky coach John Calipari would be driving the pace car for the Sprint Cup Series' Quaker State 400 in Sparta, Ky.

He'll be driving a Ford Fusion as the race gets underway at 7:30 p.m. ET.

"It's kind of like walking out in the Final Four and having your team behind you, excited and ready to go," Calipari said in a statement. "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."

Speaking of bourbon, Calipari and Cards coach Rick Pitino have been a part of that as well.

Inter-sport collaboration, especially with collegiate programs, is always fun. And in Kentucky, pretty much anything public that Pitino and/or Calipari put their names to becomes automatic news.

(H/T, CBT)

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his seventh season covering college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics and... Full Bio

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