ETSU, Western Carolina To Go Racing Saturday
ETSU, Western Carolina To Go Racing Saturday
Thursday, September 15, 2016

September 15, 2016 

It is doubtful East Tennessee State quarterback Austin Herink has ever heard this over the public address system ...

"And Herink drops back, looks to his left and has a man wide open in Turn Three, TOUCHDOWN BUCS!!!!! ..."

This weekend, two age old Southern Conference rivals will resume a rivalry that started way back in 1932. But instead of East Tennessee State and Western Carolina battling it out in Johnson City or Cullowhee this Saturday, they'll be doing their bidding at Bristol Motor Speedway in the hills of Tennessee--one of the most iconic sports venues in NASCAR. It is the 46th meeting of the rivalry, and the first since 2003 when the Bucs took about a dozen years off from football before restarting the program last year. The game kicks off at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.

‚ÄčHerink, who grew up loving NASCAR, can't get over what he's about to do.

"I grew up a big fan of Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson ... at one point I could name all the drivers and crew chiefs," Herink told HERO Sports. "That was back in the (Joe) Nemechek days."

The FCS version of last week's Tennessee-Virginia Tech game is also highly anticipated. A college football record 157,000 fans made it to the big game last weekend, shattering the previous record by more than 40,000 fans. While the Bucs and Catamounts may not expect 150,000 plus this weekend, there's no doubt the crowd will be larger than the usual FCS affair. 

"We'll take 100,000, we're not greedy," ETSU assistant coach and former NFL player Antonio Goss joked when talking to HERO Sports.

Goss has an interesting tie in to NASCAR. He grew up in Randleman, N.C., the home area of the all-time winningest driver--Richard Petty. Goss starred on three straight state title high school football teams in Randleman in the early 1980s and has gotten to know Petty very well over the years. Goss went on to star at the University of North Carolina and earn two Super Bowl rings with the San Francisco 49ers.

He has an appreciation for the sport of racing and this popular venue because he has seen firsthand how wonderful its biggest ambassador is.

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