Branden Dozier isn’t a NASCAR fan. But he wouldn’t mind one day working in the sport.
Dozier, who just finished his college football career with the Charlotte 49ers, is one of 19 former college and professional athletes taking part in Friday’s NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew National Combine.
“I’ve been to the Coca-Cola 600, but that’s really it,” Dozer said of his experience with NASCAR.
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Yet Dozier became intrigued with the idea of working on a NASCAR pit crew after talking last football season with Kevin Donnalley, a member of the 49ers football staff and a NASCAR fan.
“It sounded like something I’d be interested in,” said Dozier, a defensive back who also participated in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ rookie minicamp earlier this month. Dozier, who transferred to Charlotte in 2014 from Butler (Kan.) Community College, holds 49ers single-season records for tackles (86), solo tackles (54) and pass breakups (11).
After Friday’s NASCAR combine, 10 candidates will receive offers to participate in a crew member program operated by Rev Racing. The group practiced Thursday at NASCAR’s Research & Development Center in Concord.
“There were some similarities in football, because of the teamwork,” said Dozier, who added he’d never changed a tire in his life.
Jeremy Kimbrough, a former Washington Redskins and Appalachian State linebacker, is also at the combine, as is Andre Neblett, a defensive lineman who played three seasons with the Carolina Panthers. Two other former Appalachian players – quarterback Richie Williams and running back Kevin Richardson – are on Roush Fenway Racing’s Xfinity Series pit crew.