- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, non-lethal aid to counter Russians
- HUMPRHIES: The Liberal Bully of the Week is …
- Secret Service threatened to kill Mr. Met if he got close to President Clinton, book claims
- Sarah Palin to campaign for Senate candidate Ben Sasse in Nebraska
- Boise business entices customers to come break stuff — ‘recreational destruction’
- Fired Yahoo exec’s $60 million golden parachute may be a record
- Arkansas gynecologist snapped nude photos of patients, police say
- Anthony Weiner on his current sexting habits: ‘None of your business’
- Producers eye Capitol Hill for latest reality TV hit
Jones & McCarron bring racing roots to Talladega
TALLADEGA, ALA. (AP) - Chipper Jones can cross another item off his post-baseball bucket list.
The former Atlanta Braves slugger followed a visit to the Masters _ and his first turkey hunt _ with his first chance to attend a race at Talladega Superspeedway now that he doesn’t have the conflict of baseball season.
Jones _ who grew up going to races in Daytona, Fla., 20 minutes from his Pierson home _ got to serve as grand marshal at Sunday’s Aaron’s 499.
“If I wasn’t a baseball player I think I would have wanted to be a race car driver or a country singer or something like that,” Jones, who retired after last season, said before the race. “Not that I can sing, but I can dang sure drive.”
He said you could hear the revving engines at Daytona International Speedway from his backyard.
“I was in the house for Richard Petty’s 200th win,” Jones said. “Ronald Reagan flew in on Air Force One. Richard wasn’t my favorite. I was a Cale Yarborough fan. I loved Cale’s grit and determination. He’d fight you in a heartbeat on the backstretch if somebody wrecked him. That was always something that I liked. I always thought he had one of the prettiest cars.”
Another sports figure in the South, Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, was given the chance to lead the racers for a pre-race lap driving the pace car at a creeping _ by `Dega standards _ 55 mph.
McCarron grew up visiting the local short track in Mobile, where his grandfather used to race and his father, Tony, and uncle, Rusty, served on the pit crew.
McCarron, who has helped the Crimson Tide win the past two national championships, got to one-up Alabama coach Nick Saban.
Saban was grand marshal at the 2009 spring race _ and a mere passenger in the pace car.
“I told him, he’s one of the most important guys in the state of Alabama and he had to ride in the passenger seat,” McCarron said. “I said, `So what does that say about me, Coach? I’m driving.’
“He told me, `Whatever you do, don’t wreck it.’”
McCarron said many of his family members are big NASCAR fans. He started out following his father’s favorite driver, Bill Elliott. Now he pulls for Elliott’s successor, Kasey Kahne.
“The cool part about it is I think Kasey drives the same way as him, stays high a lot of times and rides along the wall,” McCarron said. “I felt like he was always different. My dad rooted for him most of the time, so I guess I took after my dad a little. Then I like McDonald’s and he drove a McDonald’s car.”
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- Removal of military gear limits options for U.S., NATO in Ukraine
- Joe Biden's first Instagram pic mocked as shill for sunglass ad
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- IRS emails reveal discussion with Justice about suing nonprofits for election activities
- CURL: The state of the Union worse than you thought
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch wrecked by retreating feds
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers 'more deadly than jihadists'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.