News & Media


'NASCAR' propels Giants to Super Bowl victory

February 06, 2012, Official Release, NASCAR.com

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Last night in the Daytona 500 of Football, the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots, employing a thrilling, breathtaking and awe-inspiring defensive package named after a thrilling, breathtaking and awe-inspiring sport -- NASCAR.

The moniker, and its genesis, makes sense. Think about it...

DE Justin Tuck went to college at Notre Dame, a quick three-hour drive from Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Look at him during a game, dancing here -- then there -- behind the line of scrimmage. Aren't his shimmies -- which often results in a spike of some poor quarterback -- reminiscent of Darrell Waltrip in Daytona International Speedway's Victory Lane after winning The Great American Race in 1989?

Then watch the swim move from DE Osi Umenyiora, whose college (Troy University) sits about a two-and-a-half hour drive from big Talladega Superspeedway. His go-to move: Juking right, swatting a helpless defender away, and launching left. Can't you envision a similar slingshot maneuver on Lap 200 on Feb. 26?

And now everyone's down with JPP -- DE Jason Pierre-Paul. He went to school at the University of South Florida, near NASCAR's bookend tracks -- Daytona and Homestead-Miami Speedway. His specialty: Off the block speed, every single play. If the NFL had an American Ethanol Fastest on the Restart Award (they don't, but NASCAR does), he'd win it every game.

No wonder the Giants nicknamed its all-out pass rush after the world's most competitive form of motorsports.

"We came up with NASCAR; we call it our speed package," Giants defensive end Justin Tuck, who notched two sacks last night, told ESPN. "Why do we call it that? All of us compete about who's the fastest and who gets to the quarterback the fastest. So NASCAR's just something that felt right."

So there's a competition about who's the fastest? And they bicker about who will be first to an all-important prize? Do the similarities ever end? Maybe the NFL should just give in and end games with a checkered flag.

Among the NASCAR drivers who attended Super Bowl XLVI were Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, Austin and Ty Dillon.

Next, on Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. on FOX, NASCAR's best will run the Daytona 500 for their chance at immortality.

The storylines for the much-anticipated opener are plenty. Will it be defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, who looks to fill the only hole in his brilliant career with his first win in The Great American Race? Or maybe Dale Earnhardt Jr. will nab his second 500 win, to join his 2004 trophy.

Then there's the debut of Danica Patrick. Could she shock the world, winning the sport's biggest race in her first series start?

Either way, the Daytona 500 appetizer is over. The main course is now only three weeks away.