Watch Greg Jennings, Shawne Merriman as NASCAR analysts
Former NFL players Greg Jennings and Shawne Merriman – who owns a race car in the developmental NASCAR K&N Pro Series – tried their hands at being a NASCAR analyst this week.
The pair stopped by FOX Sports’ NASCAR Race Hub show to share their perspectives on the sport – Jennings as a fan and buddies with Kyle Busch and Merriman as a team owner – on how they think it can grow and on Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. being the first full-time African-American driver at the highest level since 1971.
Jennings and Merriman praised Wallace for his historic second-place finish in the Daytona 500 and explained how his performance in that race alone has already changed the sport.
“It was amazing because you watch the sport, you’re there at the track, but now you have Bubba Wallace has finished second at Daytona, out the gate, right. You have a big stage, big track, everyone watching and now – growing up as a minority in inner city – you’re like, ‘Oh my god, I can go, I can do this. I can be a NASCAR driver one day.’ That opportunity wasn’t there before. It didn’t even cross your mind because you (weren’t) exposed to it.”
Jennings – who is now an NFL analyst for FOX Sports – added:
“I’m not a big NASCAR guy, but when I saw (Darrell) “Bubba” Wallace Jr. finish second, it did pique my interest, and that’s how you grow a sport. When you can relate and see someone that looks like you, and they’re doing it, it creates this thought in your mind that, ‘Wow, I can do that.’”
Merriman and Jennings also compared NASCAR’s youth movement to the NFL, putting in the context of 42-year-old Kevin Harvick’s early dominance this season.
A major offseason narrative focused on NASCAR’s younger drivers possibly taking over, and they had nothing but good things to say about Harvick for winning three of the first four races this season as the second oldest driver on the track.
Talking about the balance of young guys and veterans facing off, Jennings said:
“Here’s the thing – in sport across the board, what tends to happen is the older you get, it’s like you’re expected to sustain the level of success, but you’re also expected to nurture the young success. And that can be problematic because it’s like you want to make sure people respect you for what you’ve done but what you can still do.”
via nascar – Google News https://news.google.coms/rss/search/section/q/nascar/nascar?ned=us&hl=en&gl=US