Daniel Ricciardo has reportedly garnered interest from America’s iconic NASCAR series with Trackhouse Racing co-owner Justin Marks said to be chasing the Australian.
Ricciardo is without a F1 drive in 2023 after McLaren paid out the third and final year of his contract to make room for compatriot Oscar Piastri.
Ricciardo is now weighing up his options, with a year off in 2023 looking like the most likely outcome — but Marks is hopeful of striking a deal.
Trackhouse Racing is behind Project 91, which aims to bring foreign drivers to the United States to experience NASCAR Cup Series racing on a short-term, or one-off basis.
Former F1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen was the project’s first big recruit, with the Finn last month racing at Watkins Glen in the No. 91 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet.
Now Marks is reportedly after Ricciardo to make an appearance, and help bolster the appeal of NASCAR globally.
According to Sports Business Journal reporter Adam Stern, Marks said Ricciardo is “aware of Project 91 and he knows that there’s interest on our side, (but) I think he’s figuring out what his F1 deal is.”
Ricciardo is a known NASCAR fanatic, notably racing with the No.3, partly as a tribute to racing legend Dale Earnhardt.
After winning at Monza, McLaren boss Zak Brown put Ricciardo at the wheel of Earnhardt’s 1984 Chevrolet Monte Carlo for a 20-minute show run at the Circuit of the Americas.
Meanwhile, Ricciardo has made it clear that he has no interest in racing for an F1 backmarker, such as Haas or Williams, who have vacancies for 2023.
He’s also insisted that he’s not giving up on F1, however, and is expected to take off next year and target a return to the grid for 2024.