During a January preseason test session at Daytona International Speedway 15 years ago, I asked NASCAR Cup driver Mark Martin who he thought would win the Super Bowl, which was only a couple days away.
"Who's in the Super Bowl?'' was his reply.
And to be fair -- in those humble days well before NASCAR's growth spurt -- most NFL players probably couldn't name a race outside of NASCAR's Super Bowl, the Daytona 500 or a stock car driver other than Richard Petty.
But those times are long gone and it speaks as much to how far NASCAR has evolved as to how popular the Super Bowl has become.
NASCAR is no longer the forgotten Southern stepchild of professional sports. The redneck stereotype is outdated and short-sighted and some of stock car's best are sharing the weekend Super Bowl spotlight right alongside the biggest names in sports and entertainment.