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10 NFL Players Who Belong Behind the Wheel

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NFL Players In NASCAR?

Photo - Casey Kelley (Flickr)

When it comes to climbing and strapping yourself into a stock car, you need to possess an innate desire to win and a confidence so high it borders arrogance. Though, arrogance isn’t necessarily a bad trait in NASCAR as you are required to represent yourself and sponsor in front of cameras and microphones — perhaps I should’ve said ‘personality’?

Despite the recent comments made in the media comparing NFL and NASCAR in terms of athleticism, I wonder how many NFL players have what it takes to drive in NASCAR? It’s a pretty hard one to call because driving skills come from the natural ability to feel how the car is responding and not just from a great physique and brawn.

Apart from the aforementioned attributes of confidence and the need to win, of which NFL players naturally possess, the body is put under the constant forces that come at 180+ mph, so endurance is vital. Unlike the NFL, NASCAR drivers don’t really get a break until the chequered flag, which is usually over three hours of pure concentration avoiding the wall and other cars.

A slimmer and fitter driver will have an advantage over a heavier one, not just because racing often takes place on a 120 degree track, but because a lighter car is a faster car — every little bit counts in NASCAR.

In the past, NASCAR has had its share of NFL stars who've dabbled in the sport, from actual players to team coaches, but are there any current NFL stars suited to the track?

In a sport brimming with tall and well-built athletes, finding potential drivers under 180 pounds is going to be a struggle, and there’s the height, the attitude, the love of cars, the …

… so with all the cards on the table, which NFL players could play poker behind the wheel of a stock car in the world of the Daytona 500 and Charlotte Speedway?

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Patrick Willis

Photo - noahwood (Flickr)

Considered by many as the NFL’s current best linebacker, San Francisco’s Patrick Williams also has the best car collection in NFL — all of them very fast. From his stylish Aston Martin DB9 to his powerful Shelby Mustang, Willis has a car for every occasion.

Surely a man who switches between so many monster cars will feel at home in NASCAR.

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Thomas Davis

Photo - noahwood (Flickr)

Like NASCAR drivers and fans, this Panthers’ linebacker loves retro muscle cars.

“I’m just fascinated by cars,” Davis admitted to Dub Magazine. “I love them. It’s always been there, that love. But being able to afford them makes a huge difference. My dad had a lot of cars growing up, and that’s where I developed that love.”

His 454 big-block 75 Caprice is one such car boasting massive power — a silly 750-bhp! And in the words of a true racer: “If it’s old school, I love a good strong engine, and the old school that I have, definitely,” Davis continued. “It’s gotta be something with a 400 or better in it.”

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Mark Sanchez

Photo - El_Sol (Flickr)

New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is no stranger to a camera lens. His ridiculous photo shoots posing as either a Baywatch lifeguard or a wannabe model put him amid the media and the beautiful models — if only his football skills did the same.

Considering his love of the media and his varying from on the field, perhaps Sanchez could be the Tim Richmond of NASCAR?

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Robert Griffin III

Photo - Keith Allison (Flickr)

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III not only has the panache to deal with the media, but he also owns the 1000-bhp 264-mph Bugatti Veyron. Surely, Griffin has tested its top end? This one NFL star that has more than likely experienced NASCAR speeds.

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Chad Johnson

Photo - clayjseal (Flickr)

This wide receiver has an addiction to cars and his tastes are eclectic to say the least — his collection ranges from a Rolls Royce Phantom to a Smart Car, from a Lamborghini Aventador and Gallardo to a monstrous custom Freightliner.

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Cortland Finnegan

Photo - Mark Glasgow (Flickr)

We don’t know what St. Louis Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan is like behind the car of a racing car, however if it’s anything like his behaviour on the field, he’ll love the side-by-side, paint-rubbing action on the track.

Finnegan publicly said he wanted to be known as the dirtiest player in the NFL, and last season he picked a fight with Andre Johnson, a giant in comparison. Although Johnson punished him, it didn’t change his ‘small-man’ complex — shake and bake, baby.

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Reggie Bush

Photo - adifanset (Flickr)

Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush is no stranger to fast cars. He has a love for restoring classic cars and owns some pretty mean modern cars such a Ferrari F430.

Bush also had a 680-BHP ’71 Chevelle SS built by Streamline Designs in New Orleans. He recently put his beloved “Gone In Sixty Seconds” ’67 Shelby Mustang GT500 up for sale because he was running out of room.

With his passion for muscle and his experience driving the Gumball 3000, Bush would certainly revel at the chance of hitting the track.

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Kevin Burnett

Photo - Skookums 1 (Flickr)

Miami Dolphin’s linebacker Kevin Burnett wouldn’t have a problem taking the reigns of some serious horsepower as he owns two Nissan GT-Rs and a Toyota Supra.

A testament to his love of power, Burnett has also taken a ride in a tuned 808-bhp Mitsubishi Evo IX known as the “Infamous Monster”.

Burnett would tackle NASCAR like he tackles his opponents — hard and head-on.

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Brandon Jacobs

Photo - Mike L (Flickr)

Free agent and former New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs would easily make the grade in NASCAR for aggressive driving, although he’s need to lose a few pounds to climb inside a stock car.

In 2012, Jacobs was spotted in a group of Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches being escorted by two New York State Police cars to Atlantic City. The group of exotic cars were travelling in excess of 110-mph, all with their license plates taped over.

One witness called it "Death Race 2012."

Jacobs told Rides Magazine that from among his car collection, his preferred ride is a modified 700-bhp Nissan GT-R.

Jacobs has also taken his aggression out in WWE arena, so place him behind the wheel and you have the next Kyle Busch in the making.

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A.J. McCarron

Photo - Matt Velazquez (Flickr)

Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron recently drove the pace car during the Talladega Sprint Cup NASCAR race. Alabama coach Nick Saban served as a grand marshal at the same race in 2009, but he never got behind the wheel — a fact McCarron often reminds him of. When given advice by Saban to not wreck it, McCarron replied with a smile, “I used to be a fast driver when I drove a Camero. I used to test it.”

McCarron led the field in a Ford Mustang GT 500 — I think he’d look even better in a stock car.