NASCAR Drivers Get Some Words of Wisdom from F1 Star for Their COTA Outing

Published 05/20/2021, 7:36 AM EDT
May 9, 2021; Darlington, South Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) and Denny Hamlin (11) race in front of William Bryon (24) during the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


This weekend, the NASCAR Cup Series drivers head to the Circuit of the Americas for the first time. In the buildup to the race, NASCAR caught up with F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo. Having raced at the track before, the Australian driver was able to offer some sound advice.

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He said, “In my head, I was like, ‘Finally! A modern circuit that they’ve done right.’

I was really impressed with the creativity behind designing so many of the apexes. Turn 1 kind of funnels opens into this massive apex, same with Turns 10, 15, 16. There’s a lot of overtaking opportunities, more than one line. I’m a big fan of motocross and supercross, you know you’ve kind of got the high line. Round the outside, bit like NASCAR, then you’ve got the shorter line, that is the inside.”

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Ricciardo acknowledged that the Circuit of the Americas offers a bit of a NASCAR experience with that. For now, the McLaren driver is focusing on his own race weekend in Monte Carlo.

The NASCAR drivers cannot wait to tackle the circuit

It is worth mentioning that the drivers will tackle the full 3.41-mile circuit. Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith noted that he and the board put a lot of thought into the decision. In the end, he was confident that the long course would provide the most entertainment for the fans.

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Manor Marussia Formula One driver Alexander Rossi of the United States drives during qualifying for the U.S. F1 Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas October 25, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Stone

Iconic features like the steep hill climb at Turn 1, the Esses, and the long back straight will be hugely entertaining. Already, the track has provided great racing in the Formula One, IndyCar, and MotoGP series. Soon, NASCAR will join in on the fun and drivers will be able to see the appeal of the track.

Denny Hamlin enters the new track as the Cup Series championship leader. However, he has yet to reach Victory Lane, and what better way to do it than to try and get it at a brand new venue?

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Dhruv George

11616 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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