I have seen America's next Formula 1 racer
The discussion on SIRIUSXM was about who could be America's next Formula 1 racer. Show host, Dave Moody, did an excellent job explaining to the caller why Kyle Busch would not leave his established place in NASCAR to move to Europe to race F1. That is what got me thinking and eventually writing this blog.
If not an established, current driver, then who? PRN's At The Track covers most of the grassroots and up and coming racers in America, so then what racer do we see as someone who would meet the criteria to be America's next Formula 1 racer? Most of you reading this will know the top items in the criteria are unchallenged financial backing, marketability and a high level of talent.
The list of those that have all or most of these is a bit longer than you would think. Short tracks, dirt tracks, legends and kart racers at the highest levels of their particular craft usually have most of these qualities at varying levels. But here is my thought on who currently has the best set of all of these.
If you were to ask me today, "who is America's next Formula 1 racer?" I will tell you it is William Byron. Byron has been a unique case study since he started winning legends races at the summer shootout just days after getting in a race car. Byron honed his craft exactly the way F1 does most of its' testing; by a simulator. iRacing to be exact. Byron would fit right in with an F1 team's engineers while he sat testing via sim for days and nights at a time on the next prototype race car for his team.
Byron is in the unique position to trade the strong potential of an outstanding career in NASCAR for the potential bounty of becoming America's next Formula 1 racer.
Aided by his advanced ability to use and benefit from computer simulation, similar to that used in F1, Byron has 3 wins and the point lead in the NASCAR K&N Series plus wins and podium finishes in every type of vehicle he has driven to this point in his career.
Byron's affiliations are breathtaking. He lives in Charlotte, NC in and around many of NASCAR'S top drivers and owners. He drives for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in late models and HScott Motorsports in NASCAR's K&N Series. And his primary sponsor is the rock solid, Liberty University with its' expansive campus in Lynchburg, VA and over 80,000 more students online .
What a great place for William Byron to be at 17 years old. Byron is as handsome as any teen actor or music star. Byron has already won races against many of the racers he would compete against if he chooses to stay on his course toward NASCAR stardom. And he has the unmatched financial backing of those mentioned earlier and others within his network of contacts.
OK, Byron has most of the recipe but what seat would he potentially fill? That brings me to my next reason why William Byron is America's next Formula 1 racer. Let's examine his network and put these final pieces of the puzzle together.
Byron's current late model owner has just come back from a trip to Europe. Although Dale Jr. has never publically said anything about an interest as an owner in F1, his brand would gain from being on a worldwide stage and it would be an interestingly valuable commodity for F1 leader, Bernie Ecclestone to have in his portfolio of owners.
But it is his K&N owner that may be the true deal maker for Byron's future. Justin Marks who co-owns, HScott Motorsports, Byron's NASCAR K&N team is an avid road course racer. Marks is under forty years old with a dynamic touch for building successful racing ventures such as his GoPro Motorplex and LarsonMarks Racing World of Outlaws team. Marks is a calculated risk taker who could pull those resources together to put Byron on the tracks at Monte Carlo, Shanghai, Malaysia, and the rest of the F1 circuit.
Marks, however, has no F1 team to give Byron the seat to. That is where we go back to Byron's hometown for help to find that magical F1 seat. Byron's dealings with Earnhardt Jr. and others have him in reasonably close proximity to Rick Hendrick who has long been assisting Gene Haas with Haas NASCAR program. Haas will answer the phone when Hendrick calls to have lunch at the Speedway Club to get some friends together to discuss a potential racing venture.
Byron, at this point, in this made-up world, now has this line-up at his future-making lunch table. Potential ownership partners, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Justin Marks and Gene Haas with Rick Hendrick, a former road course racer, steering the conversation about the worldwide platform this venture could become. But there is that final and often biggest hurdle for any driver dreaming of becoming America's next Formula 1 racer; financial backing.
Byron also has that final piece close at hand. What better promotional tie, on a global platform, for an American Formula 1 racer, would there be than the word "Liberty". Liberty University is not only Byron's current sponsor but what better magnet for other American companies to pull toward than the world seeing their companies name on a handsome, young racer's car known as "Liberty". Alumni of Liberty University and other marketing conscious CMO's would easily see the instant value in this platform.
I have the vision of seeing America's next Formula 1 racer; he is William Byron, the driver of the Liberty Patriot owned by Gene Haas, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Justin Marks.