Formula 1 and NASCAR both are top tier motorsports, but that’s where the similarities end. They are like lime and cheese in comparison. NASCAR is more about brute strength and raw power, whereas Formula 1 focuses on overall driving proficiency and skill. Despite the many differences between F1 and NASCAR, few F1 drivers have crossed over to NASCAR or at least wanted to jump into an American muscle car and blow it up on the oval track.
2007 Formula One Champion Kimi Raikkonen left Ferrari at the end of the 2009 season and turned his attention to gathermade his debut at the Arctic Lapland Rally in January 2009. The Finn spent the next few years exploring rally tracks before trying his hand at NASCAR, starting with Camping World Truck Series. His foray into NASCAR didn’t last long as he crashed a Robby Gordon Motorsports car during testing, and the deal fell through. Raikkonen would have raced in a Toyota/Save Mart 350 had he not been in an accident.
Montoya Makes a Successful NASCAR Crossover
Colombia John Paul Montoya is the biggest name to enjoy NASCAR success. montoya sensationally quit F1 in 2006 to start a NASCAR career. Colombia finds itself in between favorite in the latest Daytona 500 bet because of his undoubted driving skills. Montoya competed in 255 races over nine years in the NASCAR Cup Series, winning two, finishing in the top ten 59 times, and finding himself in pole position on nine occasions. He finished eighth in the 2009 standings, his best position.
Montoya also competed in NASCAR Xfinity Series, although his career was short-lived. He raced 23 times over three years, enjoying three top tens and straight wins. Montoya retired from NASCAR in 2014 but remained in the United States and became an IndyCar driver.
Ricciardo’s Hero Is a NASCAR Driver
One of the drivers who enjoy the opportunity to drive NASCAR is Australian Daniel Ricciardo. The 32-year-old racer is famous for betting with bosses and fellow drivers throughout the season. In 2020, Ricciardo and Renault team head Cyril Abiteboul bet he’ll get the podium. He managed to do it when he finished third in Eiffel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. Bet? For Abteboul to get a tattoo!
Last season, Ricciardo made a bet with Zak Brown he would finish on the podium during that campaign. Ricciardo toyed with victory at Monza to win the bet. Ricciardo must drive 1984 Wrangler Chevrolet Monte Carlo contested by one of its heroes, the NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt. Brown owns the car along with dozens of other iconic vehicles, and Ricciardo got to try it during the United States Grand Pris in Austin.
Jacques Villeneuve is another former F1 star trying his hand behind the wheel of a NASCAR engine. Indeed, Villeneuve has ridden many motorsport series. Following his exit from Formula One, Villeneuve headed to the United States and explored the possibilities of a NASCAR career, taking on: Rousch . Racing. He has sporadically competed in several NASCAR disciplines, including the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. However, he never managed to win the race.
Several F1 stars have driven NASCAR without competing in a race. Car swaps are quite common as drivers of every sport swap with their peers in publicity shots and the like. Lewis Hamilton and Tony Stewart swapped their car in 2011. Hamilton loved the experience so much that he pretended he didn’t hear the instructions to pit and just kept going on the track!
It’s similar when Fernando Alonso and Jimmy Johnson swap cars and race on Bahrain tracks.