Sports Outside the Beltway

John Elway’s Need For Speed


I have always wondered what it would be like to get behind the wheel of these monster machines. And now my favorite player of all time, John Elway, will be one of a dozen celebrities taking part in Gillette’s “Fast Cars & Superstars” reality show sponsored by, which begins airing June 7 on ABC.

“Speed’s kind of a scary thing,” Elway said after his ride in the racecar. “I’d never gone that fast before, so it was … very interesting.”

There’s clearly a difference, the former Denver Broncos star notes, between riding along in a race car and being in the pocket as the defense closes in.

“In football, you really don’t realize the impact of it,” he said. “I’m sure that [NASCAR driver] Kurt [Busch has] been around in that car enough that you become numb to kind of what’s outside of it. For me, I was a lot more aware of what was going on than I’m sure Kurt is, because he’s been doing it for so long.” was able to get in a few questions between Elway’s training and the competition.

The Interview

What was the very first car you drove?

“I had a ‘61 Buick LeSabre.”

Big engine?

“Big engine; it was my grandmother’s car and it had snow tires in Southern California.” [Laughs]

What do you drive now?

“I have a (Mercedes-Benz) S55 AMG.”

What do you use for carting the kids around?

“I use the S55, but I’ve got a [Toyota] Land Cruiser for getting through the snow. I still live in Colorado, so needless to say I’ve got a lot of use out of the Land Cruiser this year.”

Do you ever lose your competitive nature?

“No, that is one thing that you never lose. When you retire, it’s what you miss. When they called me to do this, it took me about one second to say yes, because you get a chance to compete. So, you never lose that, no matter how old you are.”

Have you always been a race fan, or is it something that you’ve picked up recently?

“No. Over the last five years, or somewhere in there, I started following it a little bit. I’m always intrigued — it’s the same thing in football; it’s always the little details that make the difference between winning and losing. And then you start looking at NASCAR, and it’s the same type of game. Such a small difference.”

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