When Brian Scott's No. 11 Toyota rolls out of his garage at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday night, 30 miles from the Georgia Dome, the Boise State Broncos will be in two places at once.
Thirty minutes after the Nationwide Series' Great Clips 300 takes the green flag at 7:30 p.m., the fifth-ranked Broncos will kick off against the 19th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.
For Scott, a Boise native, riding with the Broncos is more than just a cliché. He'll literally be riding with the Broncos, and all thanks to his mother, Sheryl.
A few months ago, when Brian realized he'd be racing in Atlanta the same night Boise State was scheduled to play Georgia, Sheryl suggested wrapping his racecar with a Boise State theme. Brian sat on the idea for a month, thinking the powers at Joe Gibbs Racing wouldn't be open to the idea. But his Broncos loyalty got the better of him and he asked. Joe Gibbs Racing loved the idea, Brian said, and put it into motion.
"They were immediately excited about it," Scott says. "They wanted it to work. They pursued it and luckily it came together."
The finished product is a bright, shiny royal blue rendition of Scott's Camry, with Boise State logos on the hood, back fender and side panels.
And if having his favorite college football team emblazoned across his car wasn't enough, Scott's No. 11 just happens to be the same number as the Broncos' senior quarterback and Heisman Trophy hopeful, Kellen Moore.
"It's awesome," Scott says. "It's probably the most excited I've been about the car. It looks awesome. It really stands out. It's going to pop. It’s a tremendous honor to represent the university."
Boise State coach Chris Petersen, a NASCAR novice, initially thought the Scott's No. 11 was a tribute to Moore.
"When I saw the first mock-up of it, I thought that they were putting Kellen's number on the car and then I saw that he's actually No. 11," Petersen said in a press conference. "This is prefect karma. This is how it should be."
Scott's family has been supporting Boise State since he was a child growing up a mile from the blue turf at Bronco Stadium. He's been to "quite a few" games, and when BSU added luxury suites in 2008, Scott's father, Joe, purchased one. So for the last few seasons Brian has watched the Broncos play from high above the blue turf. Sheryl's idea to marry the family's two sporting passions was both creative and obvious.
Brian hasn't talked to Petersen directly about the car, but Joe pulled the coach aside recently at a meeting for the Albertson Foundation, started by Scott’s great-grandparents and behind the "Go On" campaign that encourages Idaho high school students to continue their education.
Joe told the head coach about the plan and Petersen lit up like a green light. The coach mentioned it to the powers-that-be at BSU and the cross-sports match was all ready for its date in Atlanta.
"I think the car and the whole concept is awesome," Petersen told reporters. "I just wish I could be there in the car with him for maybe a warm-up lap, not the real thing, but get a little speed."
But enough of the happy talk; let's get to the trash talk.
With many NASCAR officials and team employees based in the Southeast, the Bulldogs are the hands-down favorite at the track. Last week at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee, also Southeastern Conference country, two NASCAR officials joked with Scott that his car wouldn't make it through inspections. And Scott's crew includes Georgia graduates who already told him they don't support the new color scheme.
"They’ve already been talking crap," Scott says with a chuckle. "And some of the NASCAR officials are from Georgia and they’re threatening that we’d fail tests and they’ll tear our car apart.
"(One official) was telling us at Bristol, 'You might as well show up with that thing (his seat) unbolted. Your helmet better be to code.'"
Scott says he'll get updates from Boise State's game over his radio Saturday night and might even try to make it over to watch the Broncos walk-through before the game.
And if both the car and the team win Saturday? Oh boy.
"Man, it'd be crazy," Scott says. "I'm pretty sure we'd be banned from the state of Georgia for the rest of our lives.
"But it'd be neat."Full Story >>