Punches and perspiration were flying when the eight NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase drivers visited The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Gym for a workout with UFC Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin on Friday afternoon.
Griffin, who will serve as grand marshal for Saturday's DC Solar 350 Chase race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and a trio of UFC fighters led the eight drivers through a series of drills at the gym, where the popular UFC TV show "The Ultimate Fighter" is filmed for FOX Sports. Griffin, UFC fighters Uriah Hall, Evan Dunham and Kevin Lee helped William Byron, Matt Crafton, John Hunter Nemechek, Christopher Bill, Johnny Sauter, Ben Kennedy, Daniel Hemric and Timothy Peters get a sweat going and learn how to throw punches and defend themselves inside the octagon.
The fighters led the drivers in warmup drills, showed them proper punching technique and defensive maneuvers and gave them some time inside the octagon during the hour-long session. The athletes traded questions and knowledge about their respective sports with each other while the drivers got a crash course in mixed martial arts.
The session fittingly brought together NASCAR and UFC, as the tandem will broadcast back-to-back on FS1 on Saturday night. Coverage of the DC Solar 350 begins at 5 p.m. Pacific Time, with "UFC Fight Night: Lineker vs Dodson" following at 8 p.m.
Many of the Chase drivers will be participating in an autograph session in the LVMS Fan Engagement Area from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Pacific Time, giving fans attending the day's "350 Fest" a chance to get up close and personal with the NCWTS stars. Griffin will give the call for drivers to start their engines before the race.
The DC Solar 350's green flag drops at 5:30 p.m., and fireworks will follow immediately after the checkered flag is waved at the conclusion of the 219-mile race. Practice sessions are scheduled for 8:30-9:30 a.m. and 10-11 a.m., and qualifying begins at 3:10 p.m.
Race tickets are available online at LVMS.com or by calling 1-800-644-4444. All ticket buyers will have free access to the Neon Garage throughout the course of race day, and children 12 and under get a free general admission ticket when accompanying a paid adult.