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      NASCAR rookie visits Gamecocks spring football

      Darlington Raceway usually has a driver visit the Track Too Tough to Tame for its Media Day to promote the Bojangles Southern 500, but rookie of the year candidate Ricky Stenhouse, Junior paid a visit to Columbia to watch Gamecocks spring football practice. Stenhouse, Jr., who will drive the #17 Zest Ford at Darlington, got a chance to meet Steve Spurrier prior to the Gamecocks workout. He also had a chance to take a picture with South Carolina's #17, Dylan Thompson, as well as a chance to meet JaDeveon Clowney.

      Stenhouse, Jr. is the leading candidate for 2013 rookie of the year. He's currently 15th in Sprint Cup points and is a two time Nationwide Series Champion. But he's getting much more attention for his activity off the track. Stenhouse, Jr. was inundated with media attention after it was announced that he is dating fellow rookie driver Danica Patrick. The Rousch-Fenway driver admits he's happy things have settled down and talks more about racing than off the track. He says that since the two drivers are on different teams they do not talk too much racing away from the track.

      The Bojangles Southern 500 is set for Mother's Day weekend at Darlington Raceway.