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 shit,” 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.