Skip to content

John Calipari doesn’t get to drive the pace car

Jun 30, 2013, 3:19 PM EDT

John Calipari AP

After getting lessons in taking the left turns at Kentucky Speedway from Kurt Busch, Kentucky coach John Calipari was supposed to ride shotgun in the pace car for the Quaker State 400 in Sparta, Ky. on Saturday.

Then he got the news that he’d be driving the pace car, cruising at a manageable 45 mph ahead of the pack. Calipari also was given a custom racing jacket, which he will auction off for charity.

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.

“When I went 45 (mph), I wasn’t nervous,” Calipari said, “but when he (Busch) was going 90 and 100 (mph) in that rain, all these grooves are great, I’m thinking, ‘Oh, my gosh.’

However, rain delayed the race until noon on Sunday. As a result, he would have to wait.

Looks like Calipari didn’t make it back to the track for a shot at redemption on Sunday.

Understandable. Calipari is a busy man and his time is stretched, even (maybe especially) in the offseason.

But it looks like he definitely has a good excuse for missing to opportunity. I mean, as those of us that are married will tell you, you can’t upset the wife.

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.

Even in auto racing, Calipari can’t best Louisville recently.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

Latest Posts
  1. Kansas, Indiana on opposite sides of 2015 Maui Invitational bracket

    Jul 27, 2015, 8:12 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Potentially four top-25 teams will be in the 2015 field.

  2. Colorado State’s Antwan Scott granted sixth year of eligibility

    Jul 27, 2015, 5:51 PM EDT

    Grambling State Grambling State

    Scott averaged 15.7 points per game for Grambling during the 2013-14 season.

  3. Nik Stauskas trolls Ohio State fans, claims Thad Matta didn’t know who he was (PHOTO)

    Jul 27, 2015, 5:18 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    The former Big Ten Player of the Year (inaccurately) trolls Ohio State fans

  4. Top two 2017 recruit Michael Porter Jr. dunks all weekend (VIDEO)

    Jul 27, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 10.29.28 AM

    It’s pretty obvious why people like Porter.

  5. Highlights of Wenyen Gabriel, who’s been offered by Kentucky, Duke (VIDEOS)

    Jul 27, 2015, 2:17 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 2.15.47 PM

    Gabriel was the biggest stock riser for the month.

  6. Ron Baker was the best college player for Team USA at Pan-Am Games

    Jul 27, 2015, 1:51 PM EDT

    baker Getty Images

    Denzel Valentine and Taurean Waller-Prince also played well in stretches.

  7. Ole Miss star guard arrested for DUI over the weekend

    Jul 27, 2015, 12:26 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    Stefan Moody was the leading scorer last season for Ole Miss.

  8. Jamal Murray’s Pan-Am Games highlights (VIDEO)

    Jul 27, 2015, 9:39 AM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    The hype surrounding Murray as a prospect has never been higher.

  9. Wichita State forward working hard to improve offensive repertoire

    Jul 26, 2015, 7:50 PM EDT

    wichstkelly Getty Images

    Rashard Kelly averaged just 2.9 points per game last season. With Darius Carter and Tekele Cotton gone, he’ll need to do more in 2015-16.

  10. Following acquittal, Rick Brunson discusses son Jalen’s recruitment to Villanova

    Jul 26, 2015, 6:35 PM EDT

    Jalen Brunson AP

    Villanova had been Jalen’s favorite for a long time according to his father Rick.

  11. Former Memphis forward Austin Nichols transferring to Virginia

    Jul 26, 2015, 2:10 PM EDT

    Austin Nichols (AP Photo) Austin Nichols (AP Photo)

    Nichols picked Memphis over Virginia the first time around, and once the Tigers dropped their transfer restrictions many expected him to land in Charlottesville.

  12. Four-star Class of 2016 guard Zach Norvell scores 53 points, drops 14 3-pointers in Las Vegas (VIDEO)

    Jul 26, 2015, 10:22 AM EDT

    Jon Lopez/Nike Jon Lopez/Nike

    Chicago native Zach Norvell had one of the best games of the July live evaluation period on Saturday night by scoring 53 points and knocking down 14 3-pointers.

  13. Devonte’ Graham dunks on a kid at Kansas basketball camp (VIDEO)

    Jul 26, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Devonte Graham AP

    The lesson here is don’t smack talk Devonte’ Graham if he’s your camp counselor.

  14. United States wins bronze at Pan-Am Games

    Jul 25, 2015, 5:46 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    Ron Baker and Taurean Waller-Prince played well for the Americans.

  15. UMass commit Unique McLean wins dunk contest with ridiculous under-the-legs finish (VIDEO)

    Jul 25, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    unique

    UMass commit Unique McLean threw down a ridiculous dunk contest slam in front of a sea of people.

  16. 2016 small forward Lamar Stevens focusing on eight schools

    Jul 25, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Jon Lopez/Nike Jon Lopez/Nike

    The Team Final rising senior tweeted out his list Friday morning.

  17. Friday Las Vegas Recap: De’Aaron Fox, Charlie Moore have monster games

    Jul 25, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT

    (Jon Lopez/Nike) (Jon Lopez/Nike)

    A pair of Class of 2016 lead guards put together great games on Friday night while a two-sport athlete and the younger brother of an SEC guard also stood out.