NFL star running back Marshawn Lynch visited Oregon today to test drive cars for Digital Trends' (DT) Car of the Year Awards.

As soon as Lynch pulled into the parking lot of the car workshop, 503 Motoring, he began talking about "cooking potatoes and shit."

After a little talking, a photoshoot and some handshakes and hugs for the ladies (Lynch told one disappointed man that he only hugs female fans), Lynch was ready to drive some fast cars with 503 Motoring's president and founder, Tim Walbridge.

Lynch and Walbridge both participated in DT's Car of the Year Awards as guest judges, testing out a range of car categories including cars, luxury vehicles, SUV's, performance vehicles and alternative energy vehicles.

Ashley Salter — DT's Marketing Manager — explained that the Car of the Year Awards are not based around ranking the fastest or most powerful cars, necessarily. Instead, the focus is on real-world utility and functionality. This follows DT's theme of reviews geared toward people who actually want to buy a product and live with it, rather than just read about the newest tech craze.

"We are interested in how to optimize the use of the technology you own," Salter said.

The Cars Section Editor at DT, Alex Kalogiannis, said that their judges take looks and performance into account when rating the vehicles. But, they are also interested in the technology built into the cars . Things like rearview and side cameras, big sound systems and TVs built into the backs of seats are all important.

"Some of these cars are like — how many toys can we pack into this one car?" Kalogiannis said.

The judging process took place over the last week. The first day, DT's auto editors took the cars for an hour-long drive around the Portland area to see what it would be like to drive each of them on a daily basis.

The second day — because how could you resist? — they took the cars for a spin around Oregon Raceway Park.

"Yesterday was definitely a fun day," said Miles Branman, one of DT's Auto Editors, as he reminisced about driving cars around the track.

And the third day, Lynch and Walbridge were brought out to test drive the cars and act as guest judges.

The final drive of the afternoon ended with a drive-thru stop for $126-worth of Chick-Fil-A and three gallons of lemonade paid for by Lynch.

DT's Car of the Year awards will be announced at the end of May with videos and write-ups about their trials and test drives.