NASCAR sends Earnhardt down under to win over Aussie fans
One of the biggest names in world motorsport wants to race in the V8 Supercar Championship Series in the future after giving Australia’s premier category a massive endorsement at Phillip Island today.
Dale Earnhardt Jnr, recently voted in the top five of America’s five biggest sporting names, was so impressed with the sport that he now wants to drive. Earnhardt is a veteran of America’s second biggest sport, NASCAR, and the son of legend Dale Earnhardt.
He was at the Dunlop Grand Finale at Phillip Island today to start a two-week Australian holiday with friends to escape his crazy world back home. He had one request during his time – to see V8 Supercars first-hand having been a devoted viewer on Speed Channel in the US.
“We’ve become fans of V8 Supercars from watching on television. This series has come a long, long way since I started watching it. I would be quite proud to showcase this off to anyone,” said Earnhardt.
“In a perfect world I would come and race fulltime in the V8 series for a year. I believe I would enjoy it. I like the format over the weekend as far as the rounds go.
“It is definitely different to how we approach the weekend. I would definitely enjoy coming here and racing and dedicating solely to that.
“I could probably talk to the right people and make that happen. I would definitely entertain that. I am going to run my butt off in the Cup cars until I can’t anymore and maybe I’ll move to Australia and race the V8 cars as long as there’s a ride for me.”
Earnhardt was particularly impressed by the technology of a V8 Supercar and the professionalism of the teams that prepare them.
“The craftsmanship on the cars was really, really impressive,” he said.
“The technology is very impressive especially the ability to record data for the whole weekend is much different. We don’t have that. The fuel injection and all those things are also remarkable.”
Earnhardt was full of praise for Australian racer Marcos Ambrose, a two-time V8 Supercar Champion, who he will race alongside next year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Ambrose has done the hard yards working towards a full-time drive at the top level in NASCAR and takes the next step with selected race in the main game next year.
“Having Marcos come race with us has given us a better understanding of the (V8 Supercar) Series,” he said.
“I have watched him pretty closely in the races he has run. One thing that has stuck out to me that Marcos came into the Busch Series he was very respectful and very understanding of his position as a rookie.
“He came in with a lot of humility. That was really impressive. He’s well received and well respected.
“Marcos had a great opportunity at the win in Montreal. The way he handled that was a great example to a lot of other drivers in the sport. He could have blasted a couple of drivers after that race but he didn’t which was pretty impressive the way he handled himself.
“He adapted so quickly in the (secondary) Busch series and the V8 Supercars are quite similar that I don’t think he will have much problem stepping up.” V8 Supercars