BROOKLYN, Mich.—NASCAR fans aren't overly impressed by retired NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb, who in November dismissed six-time champion Jimmie Johnson as "absolutely not an athlete" on a Fox Sports 1 program.

So when McNabb showed up at Sunday's race at Auto Club Speedway as part of a Fox Sports contingent that received the VIP treatment, fans took to social media to express their displeasure.

Michael Johnson, a 21-year-old from Mattawan, Mich., was one of the fans unhappy with McNabb's special treatment. A nine-time visitor to Michigan International Speedway, Johnson asked on Twitter for the same access at his home track. Johnson tagged track president Roger Curtis in his tweet, and Curtis promptly replied that Johnson could be a VIP at MIS later this year.

Johnson at first questioned the validity of Curtis' offer, but the track president replied on Twitter: "what the hell, why not. Can't make u official Grand Marshal but I will take care of u."

Curtis went on to promise passes to the MIS garage, to driver introductions, the driver meeting, a ride in the pace car and "more cool stuff."

The offer made Johnson's day, and he was beaming the entire race. Long after Kyle Busch took the checkered flag, Johnson took a moment to thank McNabb, who inadvertently played a role in his opportunity of a fan's lifetime, and said, "I cannot stop smiling right now."

Johnson said he'll attend the June race as Curtis' special guest.

"I've been a fan since I was three," he told The Associated Press.


"No one in my family was fans, but I saw it on TV and I loved it. And MIS is by far my favorite track."