Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze, who has adopted the name “Talladega” for the Rebels’ fast-paced offensive plays, will serve as the Honorary “Pace Car Driver” for the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, May 3.
Prior to the start of the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR’s mammoth palace of speed, Freeze will lead the 43-driver starting grid around the track’s 33-degree banked turns in the track’s Official Ford Mustang Pace Car.
“I love watching the competition that goes on at Talladega,” said Freeze, who led Ole Miss to a 9-4 overall record a year ago. “One of my favorite races to watch is obviously at Talladega Superspeedway. The term `Talladega’ is one we use around here a lot for our up-tempo offense. Our kids know it as our fastest pace, and I get excited every time Talladega has a race. I am so jacked (about driving the pace car).”
A huge NASCAR fan, Freeze has developed a good friendship with two NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers – Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Danica Patrick. Last year, Stenhouse, Jr., a native of Mississippi, made a Talladega Superspeedway appearance on the campus of Ole Miss to educate students about NASCAR’s Most Competitive track. During his visit, Stenhouse, Jr., a life-long Ole Miss Rebels fan, worked out on the practice field with the Rebels’ football players after receiving a personal guided tour of the sports facilities by Freeze.