The Rocket and McNish talk karting One of baseball’s best received some much-welcomed advice from one of the American Le Mans Series’ best Thursday. Major league legend and Houston resident Roger Clemens got some pointers from reigning LMP1 champion Allan McNish in advance of Saturday’s Celebrity Go-Kart Race at JAGFlo Speedway at Reliant Park, site of Saturday’s Lone Star Grand Prix for the American Le Mans Series. Clemens will give the start command for Saturday’s two-hour, 45-minute race, Round 4 of the 2007 season.
It was quite a stark contrast: the 6-4, 240-pound Clemens seeking tips from the 5-5, 128-pound McNish. But the two-time Series champion was a fountain of knowledge and apparently Clemens soaked it in rather well.
“I was quite surprised having heard this was his first time. He looked like he knew the lines around the circuit very well,” said McNish, who will drive a diesel-powered Audi R10 TDI this weekend with Rinaldo Capello. “There are some similarities between racing and his sport of baseball. You have to have a rhythm with a gentle pressure on the throttle and brake. That makes things much better and much easier. You also see controlled aggression.”
The Celebrity Go-Kart Race will take place on Saturday, April 21 from 2 to 4 p.m., and will benefit United Cerebral Palsy and the Hole in the Wall Camps. During the event, Clemens will compete in competition go-karts against sponsors and fellow celebrities including iconic actor/race team owner Paul Newman.
Clemens is a Houston resident and true local hero who played for the University of Texas before embarking on an incredible pro career that has established him as one of the game’s greatest pitchers. Clemens has won an unprecedented seven Cy Young awards, won 348 games, and struck out more than 4,600 batters while pitching for the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees and his hometown Houston Astros.
“I enjoy watching other people do what they do best. I’ll be walking up to (Allan) and try to pick up anything I can,” Clemens said.
“It’s amazing looking at the technology and the speed,” Clemens added of motorsport. “It’s a lot like baseball. To someone sitting in the grandstands, it looks like there is so much room in the outfield but it’s really, really hard. You don’t get an appreciation for the speed of both in the stands. It’s incredible.”