Gunner Olszewski is Loudon bound.
The New England Patriots receiver and returner will drive the official pace car in the NASCAR Cup Series’ Foxwoods 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 18.
Race time is set for 3 p.m. ET.
It's a dream come true for New England @Patriots All-Pro punt returner and wide receiver, @Gunnerolszewsk1! Gunner will lead the field to green in the @ToyotaRacing Camry TRD for the #Foxwoods301 on July 18.— New Hampshire Motor Speedway (@NHMS) July 6, 2021
: https://t.co/9nzG1dkluT pic.twitter.com/NOEI4t14EI
“This is a dream come true,” Olszewski said in a statement released on Tuesday. “My brother and I grew up watching NASCAR with our dad, and I’m still a huge fan today. I can’t believe I get to lead the field to the green flag at ‘The Magic Mile!’”
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and retired Patriots in Julian Edelman, Rob Ninkovich, Matt Light and Patrick Chung all previously took the keys around the oval at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The 24-year-old Olszewski will mark the sixth member of the organization to do so since 2014.
“Gunner has proven himself on the gridiron and now is his chance to show New England race fans what he’s got,” added NHMS executive vice president and general manager David McGrath. “We’re excited to welcome him to ‘The Magic Mile’ and put him behind the wheel of the official Toyota Camry TRD pace car.”
Olszewski was named a first-team All-Pro punt returner and earned a spot on the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-NFL team in 2020.
A season after arriving as a tryout at rookie minicamp, the former Bemidji State defensive back returned 20 punts for a league-high 346 yards and a 70-yard touchdown. Olszewski’s 17.3 yards per return set a franchise record. He also fielded 18 kickoffs for 418 yards as part of New England’s special teams. And on offense, Olszewski added five carries for 23 yards along with five catches for 61 yards and a touchdown.