Bubba Wallace and Corey LaJoie throw football back and forth over the catch fence at Michigan International Speedway
On Sunday afternoon, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series field rolled onto the race track after a brief weather delay. Just as NASCAR was set to drop the green flag at Michigan International Speedway, the rain returned.
Bubba Wallace, Corey LaJoie, Daniel Hemric and Ryan Blaney among other drivers found a football. It started as a came of catch between drivers on the pit lane.
That game was soon turned on the fans. Bubba Wallace grabbed the football and threw it over the safety catch fence and into the grandstands where die-hard race fans waited out the weather delay.
At first, a fan who caught the initial throw thought he was holding onto a rather unique souvenir to collect at a race track. The fan soon realized that Bubba wanted it back.
The football was tossed to another fan with then threw it back to Bubba Wallace. For about an hour, multiple drivers threw the ball back and forth with NASCAR fans.
NFL players watched the show from the pit box of Austin Dillon.
“I got my whole football team back here. I got Tyrell Crosby and Mike Ford, from the Detroit Lions,” Austin Dillon pointed behind him.
“We’re trying to bet them, if they’d go tackle Bubba in the grass out there. I think a full hit would have been great for the stands,” Austin Dillon told Fox Sports with a smile.
The drivers started at one end of the grandstands. They were tossing the ball then walking a little further to make sure they went the length of the entire grandstand area.
“We got about 200 yards to go. What started off as a good idea is a little bit of a workout,” NASCAR driver Corey LaJoie said from the front stretch.
“But, the least we can do is keep these fans engaged. You know, they’re sticking it out with us during the rain delay.”
No joke, LaJoie learned to throw a football from from NFL quarterback Jim Kelly who played for the Buffalo Bills.
“My dad drove for Jim Kelly in the Dollar General car. We went over to Jim’s house when I was 8 or 9. He said, ‘The key is to keep your elbow up and a short release.’ “
“So, my dad wouldn’t ever let me play football as a kid. I stuck with baseball and racing. I had to put a lot more eggs in the racing basket. Some days, I wonder if I made the right choice.”
“We were doing it on pit road and we decided to share the fun a bit.”
Soon after, the NASCAR race was officially postponed. The race at Michigan International Speedway will now resume on Monday afternoon.