NASCAR spoke to F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo in the build-up to their first-ever visit to the Circuit of the Americas.
Having raced on the track before, the Australian driver was able to share some insights for the NASCAR drivers which could be helpful for them in the upcoming race. Ricciardo 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.”
Y’all, it’s race week!
— NASCAR at COTA (@NASCARatCOTA) May 17, 2021
It will be a new challenge as well as an opportunity for many NASCAR drivers to get their win on a new track. Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith said that making the race on a full 3.41-mile circuit would provide the most entertainment to the fans.
Actor Matthew McConaughey will serve as the Grand Marshal for NASCAR’s first-ever visit to COTA.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) May 19, 2021
One of the most interesting aspects of the 20-turn COTA circuit will be the wild Turn 1, which is nicknamed “Big Red.”