Dale Earnhardt Jr. gives driving lessons to Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis

Image courtesy of @HollywoodJeff.

Charlotte Motor Speedway has found a perfect way to merge Charlotte sports and NASCAR for the Coca-Cola 600. Thomas Davis, a star linebacker for the Carolina Panthers, will be driving the pace car to start the 600-mile event.

In order to prepare for the honor of leading the way at Charlotte, Thomas Davis needed to know what it’s like to be out front on the track. Few drivers know as much about that over the last two years than Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has won five races since the start of 2014.

Naturally, the two North Carolina icons met at Charlotte for a few hot laps. Davis said it was a “dream come true,” but it was just another day at the track for Earnhardt. The No. 88 car on the track was not Junior’s typical Hendrick ride, but rather a machine from the Petty Driving Experience.

Here are a few highlights from the duo on the track.

Davis later put up a few videos from the ride-along on Instagram.

More videos

A video posted by td58 (@td58) on

Amazing experience…..

A video posted by td58 (@td58) on

Growing up in North Carolina, Earnhardt didn’t have a team in his home state to root for until 1995. Like several NFL fans across the state, he chose the closest option with the Washington Redskins. Luckily for Panthers fans, Junior didn’t sabotage Davis during their time on the track.

Now that Davis is fully prepared to lead the Sprint Cup field, it’s up to Earnhardt to join him near the front.


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