Tuesday, September 26

Michigan State coaches Tom Izzo, Mel Tucker talk NASCAR at MIS

Michigan State basketball head coach Tom Izzo, right, and football coach Mel Tucker talk before the Spartans' game against Purdue on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, at Breslin Center in East Lansing.

BROOKLYN — The similarities between football, basketball and NASCAR may seem few and far between, but for Michigan State coaches Mel Tucker and Tom Izzo, the parallels are striking.

Izzo and Tucker shared grand marshal duties during Sunday’s  FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway and as they walked the racetrack grounds with MSU athletic director Alan Haller and staffers, the two marveled at the same phenomenon.

“I read a book a few years back, ‘Racing to Win’ with Joe Gibbs and it talked about how similar the sports are in terms of the teamwork,” Tucker, the Spartans football coach, said. “The driver is like the quarterback and things like that, so I’ve been fascinated with that aspect of NASCAR.

“To get a chance to see it up close and personal for me is quite a treat.”

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