Drivers Prep for Super Bowl LI
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on February 3, 2017 | 2:18 P.M. EST
Team Penske's Joey Logano says he's looking forward to his first trip to the Super Bowl and Sunday's game in Houston. (Photo: Getty Images)
Super Bowl LI has attracted the attention of many drivers around the NASCAR world as the NFL championship is on the line Sunday.
When the Atlanta Falcons take on the New England Patriots at NRG Field in Houston, drivers from across the sport will be tuning in or - in some cases - settling into their seats at the stadium to watch.
"Growing up in Georgia, I’m excited about the Falcons going to the Super Bowl," said Front Row Motorsports driver David Ragan. "Our whole family was at the NFC Championship Game and that was fun in the Georgia Dome, where we grew up going to wrestling and watching monster trucks. I even raced my Legends car there. It’s sad to see that place go. I will be in Houston. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience."
While Ragan roots on his home-state heroes, other drivers will be at the game cheering for their opponent including New England native Joey Logano.
"I've never been to the Super Bowl, so I’m excited about going down there to check it out," Logano said. "(Sponsor) Shell's headquarters are in Houston, so I get to see all those people and do stuff for another partner of ours called Wheels Up."
Not everyone will take in the game in person in Texas, but that won’t stop them from enjoying the game. Like millions of other Americans, some drivers will be hosting a Super Bowl party at home.
"We'll have about 20 people at my house," Elliott Sadler explained. "I love cooking. I have a huge grill outside and we’ll put ribs, chicken and steaks on. I'm a huge football fan so we actually watch the game and pay attention to every little thing that goes on. I’m a Pats fan, so I’m pulling for New England. I’m a huge Tom Brady fan."
Others like Sadler will be cheering for Brady and the Patriots, but Ty Dillon has a unique reason for throwing his allegiance to New England.
"I can’t stand the Falcons," Dillon admits. "I went to the (playoff) game with my wife and we got harassed by Falcons fans because she is from Seattle and we wore our Seattle stuff, even though I’m a diehard Panthers fan. I was supporting my wife's side of the family.
"Being a Panthers fan, we can’t stand the Falcons. I hope they get destroyed."
Still others will be watching even if they don’t have as much of an emotional investment in the game as Dillon. Washington Redskins fan Dale Earnhardt Jr. plans to tune in even if he doesn’t have the proverbial dog in the fight.
"I’m pretty much a spectator," he said. "I’ve got friends on both sides so either way, I’m alright with whoever wins. I will be tuning in. It’s a lot of fun. We'll have some friends over, have a few beers and see how it turns out."