A couple years back, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg wanted to learn more about NASCAR. So, he decided to go with the hands-on approach by taking a high-speed ride around Charlotte Motor Speedway with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
And, for at least a little while, it was a case of be careful what you wish for.
Let’s just say that he wasn’t quite prepared for how intense the ride was about to be.
“Holy s***,” Zuckerberg, who broadcasted the whole experience on Facebook Live, shouted as the car sped around the track at breakneck speeds. “All right, we’re getting a little too close to the wall.”
Dale Jr. later explained why he pushed it so hard.
“I wanted him to get a sense of the speed and the grip and the G-Forces,” Earnhardt said. “I’m sure it was exhilarating. I couldn’t imagine getting into a car with a race car driver having never driven before myself.”
As part of his tour around the United States to get a feel for different communities back in 2017, Zuckerberg visited Dale Jr. and a few members of the NASCAR community in North Carolina. He also got to spend a decent amount of time around the Hendrick Motorsports team, and ended up developing a keen interest in the hype and process surrounding NASCAR.
“NASCAR and driving and sports in general form the basis of a lot of communities,” Zuckerberg said. “You think about not only the community of drivers and the families around them, but NASCAR’s probably, I think, the biggest sport in the country that people go to and attend live.”
Even today, Zuckerberg probably doesn’t have enough time to really develop into a diehard NASCAR fan, but judging from his time with Junior, he definitely respects the sport a lot more than he did beforehand.
This post was originally published on January 29, 2021.