NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kasey Kahne paid a visit to One Buc Place today, taking in the Buccaneers’ first minicamp practice while promoting the Coke Zero 400. He chatted with quarterback Josh Freeman and even tossed around the football.
“I’ve never had a quarterback throw the ball to me,” said the 5-foot-9, 150-pound Kahne, who didn’t play organized football growing up but describes himself as a “major NFL fan.”
“I’m from Seattle. I grew up going to all the Seahawks games and just have always been a really big Seahawk fan,” Kahne said. “The Seahawks open up in Carolina on Sunday after the Richmond race so I will be at that game.”
His respect for the game transcends team allegiances, however.
“It’s crazy how hard they work and how much they get beat up. I have a lot of respect for what they do. I like it.”
When asked if he’d rather get hit over the middle by safety Dashon Goldson or flip his car on the front stretch or hitting a wall, Kahne laughed, “I’d rather crash my car.”
“I’ve done it enough so I kind of understand what’s going to happen. I don’t know what would happen if I got hit by one of those guys.”
Thankfully Goldson was still getting some work in on the field when he lined up at receiver and took some passes from Freeman, who was impressed by how Kahne prepares for his races.
“He was talking about the preparation and going out three days before and working the track, working the turns…that guy, what he does is amazing,” said Freeman.
“He was talking about the length, the duration, the detail of their plan going into each race…he’s been at an elite level for a long time. That says a lot about him and the type of racer he is.”
Freeman said he sees some similarities between the two sports in that there isn’t much disparity when it comes to the level of competition.
“Every race for him, every week for us, it’s a new challenge. Nobody’s going to roll over and let you win. It’s always going to be steep competition.”