Kentucky coach Calipari pace car drive must wait

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 29, 2013 at 9:07 pm •  Published: June 29, 2013
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SPARTA, Ky. (AP) — Rain kept Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari from driving the (fast) lane before Saturday night's NASCAR race.

Initially slated to ride shotgun as the honorary pace car driver for the 400-mile Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway, Calipari was asked to drive the Ford Fusion leading the 43-car field to the green flag.

Unfortunately for Calipari, showers forced NASCAR to postpone the race just after 9 p.m. and reschedule it for noon Sunday. The coach had expressed confidence that the race would be run, but he now must make another trip here and figure out how to make it up to his wife on their vacation.

"The good Lord knows how mad my wife is right now," Calipari said before knowing he might have to take another vacation day.

Facing the music from his spouse could be even scarier than Calipari's pace car tutorial from 2004 champion Kurt Busch.

His crash-course instruction included 90-mph splits in the rain around the 1.5-mile oval by Busch, which had the coach "white-knuckled" and holding on tightly on the passenger side as the car came within inches of the outside retaining wall. Fortunately for Calipari, he only has to drive a more comfortable 45 mph ahead of the field.

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