St. Louis: NFL star to crew for Starr

NFL MEETS NASCAR HEAD ON St. Louis, MO (April 29, 2005) --From gridiron to race track: Andy McCollum will trade the pigskin for a pit sign this weekend at the Dodge Ram Tough 200 at Gateway International Raceway. McCollum, longtime center for...

NFL MEETS NASCAR HEAD ON

St. Louis, MO (April 29, 2005) --From gridiron to race track: Andy McCollum will trade the pigskin for a pit sign this weekend at the Dodge Ram Tough 200 at Gateway International Raceway. McCollum, longtime center for the St. Louis Rams, will be on pit road with the No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado team to support driver David Starr. Starr will be in pursuit of his second consecutive NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win at the oval just east of St. Louis.

"It's pretty cool - I'm pretty anxious to see what goes on down there detail wise," the longtime Ram's offensive lineman, Andy McCollum said. "I had a chance to be in the pits for the IRL race here at Gateway. We could stand and watch but we weren't really able to be in the pit area. It was amazing though how those guys work and I'm really anxious to see how they do it this weekend in the truck race."

The 300lb- 6'4 player who's played 139 consecutive regular season contests in a Ram's uniform is no stranger to NASCAR or the Craftsman Truck Series. McCollum witnessed his new teammate, Starr's exciting charge to victory in 2004.

"The last couple years I've been down to Gateway for the Craftsman Truck Series race," McCollum said. "I went to Kansas City as a pure spectator before to see the trucks race. Last years race here was cool and a great finish. It's amazing what happened with the attempts to finish. It's actually pretty funny because I had a buddy come with me and he had to leave early to get his kids to sleep and he missed the finish. He's still mad at me about it. It was an awesome finish."

Starr's victory came on the fourth green/white/checkered attempt that saw the race go a historic 14 laps beyond the scheduled 160 circuits around the 1.25 oval. The Texas native's last lap pass was voted by St. Louis media as the most exciting finish to a race in the history of Gateway International Raceway.

"A lot of the players on the team and follow the Nextel Cup every year," McCollum said. "Players are going over the rankings of the college football players and we're over there debating on who's going to win the race this weekend. There are a group of us that enjoy racing. I've gone to Indy for several years. Recently I've been really getting into NASCAR -- the change over they did last year is interesting what they do with the points now. I thought it was really good and exciting to see. I'm looking forward to being there this weekend and hopefully going to Victory Lane with David for his second straight win."

Dave McCarty crew chief of the No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado is looking forward to having McCollum on their bench this weekend.

"I've been a St. Louis Ram's fan for a long time," McCarty explained. "I'm pretty happy about having someone of Andy's stature with us. I think it is good for NASCAR that we interact with other professional sports like that. It's good to expose the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series to other venues. Andy will have a good time and it will be a good race. Hopefully he'll be able to go to Victory Lane with us this year. That would be pretty cool."

David Starr and the rest of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers will be in action on Saturday night under the lights at Gateway International Raceway at 8:00 p.m. EST. The Dodge Ram 200 will be broadcast on SPEED, XM-Satellite Radio and MRN Radio and their affiliates.

-www.DavidStarr.com.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers David Starr