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Kentucky coach John Calipari will lead Quaker State 400 in pace car

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(David Stephenson, Kentuckyspeedway.com)

Kentucky basketball won't be left out of the June 29 Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 later this month. The Kentucky Speedway announced coach John Calipari will be in the pace car for the June 29 race.

It's unclear whether Calipari will actually drive the pace car or ride shotgun. The official press release from the race track said Calipari "will help lead the 43-car field" as the honorary pace car official. Either way, it should be a thrill.

Defending national champion Louisville will be represented with its colors and logo on the car of NASCAR driver Brian Vickers.

"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 the release. "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. 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 gonna 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."

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