Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg is embarking on a year of travel to visit each U.S. state and learn about community. And in that, Zuckerberg gets the opportunity to do some amazing things around the country that is notable in the state he visits. One thing that is synonymous with North Carolina is NASCAR and Zuckerberg went into NASCAR country to learn more about the sport.
Zuckerberg was in Charlotte to visit Hendrick Motorsports and got a tour of their race shop with crew chief Chad Knaus. Zuckerberg learned about the hundreds of people behind the scenes who built the cars as well as all the technology and engineering that’s needed just to build a completed car, much less having it go fast.
Then, Zuckerberg visited Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Charlotte Motor Speedway to talk about the NASCAR community. NASCAR, like all forms of auto racing is a unique sport compared to the stick and ball sports in that everything within the sport travels to the same place every week. Drivers, pit crews, many fans, media, everyone travels in what Dale Jr. calls a “traveling circus” throughout the country. And each week, the circus comes to a racetrack and turns the place into a small city for the race week.
Zuckerberg also got a ride with Dale Jr. in one of his race cars at Charlotte. To say Zuckerberg got the crap scared out of him, would be putting it lightly.
(Skip to 11:20 to see Zuckerberg riding with Dale Jr.)
Zuckerberg’s reaction is probably like most people’s reaction when riding in a race car with Dale Earnhardt Jr. It’s a scary experience but you’re getting out of the car with a smile on your face and wish you were doing it again. Dale Jr. said that he averaged 175 mph which is about 15 mph slower than normal speed around Charlotte Motor Speedway but that’s still pretty good.
Zuckerberg then got a chance to take the driver’s seat and while he didn’t go as fast as Dale Jr., he seemed like he still got fast enough to have a good time.
Quite honestly, this would be what I would do if I was a billionaire. Travel around the country and the world to have great experiences and never stop learning. And if that learning involves going 175 mph with Dale Earnhardt Jr., then it’s a sweet bonus.