LaNorris Sellers talks NASCAR, Ricky Bobby and Gamecocks during stop at Darlington

With some time off from football, LaNorris Sellers has some free time on his hands.

On Sunday, the South Carolina quarterback used it to visit Darlington Raceway for NASCAR’s Goodyear 400.

“I always want to come to one and this is the best to come to,” Sellers told reporters during a stop at the track’s media center. “First time in a while. ... I want to see some fast moving cars and have a good time.”

Sellers played high school football at South Florence, not too far from the track dubbed “Too Tough to Tame.” He said he attended a race when he was little and his dad was a big racing fan.

Sellers was sporting a Ricky Bobby T-shirt with “If you ain’t first, you’re last” phrase on it from the movie, “Talladega Nights.” He said “Talladega Nights” is one of his favorite movies.

Sellers attended the race with his family and was going to spend time in Brad Keselowski’s pit box.

This has been a big week for Sellers. Gamecocks coach Shane Beamer named the redshirt freshman the team’s starting quarterback on Monday at a Welcome Home event in Florence, which Sellers attended.

Sellers was the favorite to replace Spencer Rattler, the team’s starter for the past two seasons and a fourth-round pick by the New Orleans Saints. Rattler signed his NFL contract last week and participated in the team’s rookie mini-camp.

“I’m very excited. It is like a dream come true for me,” Sellers said. “You gotta take it day by day and you can’t get too high or too low. You got to go and have fun.

“I feel like I had a good spring and was confident going into it. So when he (coach Beamer) told me, it wasn’t really like a surprise.”

Sellers appeared in three games for the Gamecocks last season and had two touchdowns in a game against Furman. In April’s spring game, he completed 9-of-11 passes for 70 yards, ran it five times for 38 yards and voted the team’s Offensive Player of the Spring.

Gamecock coaches have had high praise for Sellers since he arrived and are pleased with his development. The Florence native is starting to get some national recognition and On3’s Cody Bellaire called Sellers a dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate this season.

“We are so high of LaNorris Sellers at On3,” Bellaire said on his podcast. “We believed in the talent, saw the physical makeup, athletic ability and arm talent. ... I think we are going to see LaNorris put some gaudy numbers this year.”

Sellers said Sunday that this spring has been like “night and day” compared to where he was last year coming out of South Florence where he led the Bruins to a Class 4A state championship during his senior season.

The Gamecock players have the month of May off before returning to school for summer session and player-led workouts.

“Build team chemistry honestly,” Sellers said of some of the goals for the summer. “Team chemistry goes a long way. Getting to know all the guys and getting on the same page. Then get out there and be able to put the ball in the end zone.”