(Photo Courtesy of Texas Motor Speedway)

Just when you thought Shaquille O’Neal had run out of firsts, “Diesel” trumps us again during his summer vacation.


The All-Star Suns center served as Grand Marshal for the Bombardier Learjet 550k at the Texas Motor Speedway on June 6, while also trying his hand as a member of a pit crew during a simulated pit stop prior to the IndyCar Series race. Armed with an air wrench, Shaq reportedly weathered some early challenges to finally get the better of one of the 50-pound tire changes.


The big man also joined three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford in the pace car that led the field to the green flag, tipping off the start of the race.


“It was phenomenal,” O’Neal told the Texas Motor Speedway. “I can see why it’s the No. 1 sport. I feel like a little kid in a candy store.


“When it comes to being an athlete, of course it’s nice to have the physical part but being an athlete is more mental than anything. It’s not easy driving 228 laps trying to be safe and from that point of view I would say they are phenomenal athletes.”



To read more about Shaq’s appearance at the Texas Motor Speedway, CLICK HERE.

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