The Atlanta Falcons may have a “NASCAR” package on the field, but did you know that the Falcons had an actual NASCAR race car?
More recent Falcons fans may never have heard of Jerry Glanville, the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons from 1990 to 1993. Coming off a 10-6 record in 1991, and a loss in the playoffs, Jerry Glanville decided he wanted to get into NASCAR racing as a driver.
Following a meeting with the legendary driver Dale Earnhardt, and a test at Richmond International Raceway, Glanville got his chance. He drove a No. 56 Buick sponsored by the Atlanta Falcons, and began his racing career.
His first attempt took place at Lanier Speedway in Gainesville, GA on April 25, 1992, but he failed to qualify. Jerry would eventually make his first official start at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont NC, on June 6, 1992. Out of the 29 cars running that day, Glanville finished 22nd, following a crash on lap 211. Glanville’s next race was at Myrtle Beach Speedway, in which he finished 28th in a field of 29 cars, following another crash.
Jerry Glanville’s final race in the No. 56 Atlanta Falcons Buick came at Volusia County Speedway in Barberville, Florida. Glanville went on to finish 20th, in a field of 23 cars, and only 9 laps off the pace.
In 1993, Glanville started up his own team, Glanville Motorsports and the No. 81 Ford took the track. The team struggled, only qualifying for three races while missing two. After the 1993 NFL season, the Falcons fired Jerry Glanville.
Although he would go on to eventually participate in more races, it was the end of the Atlanta Falcons in NASCAR.