DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — IndyCar drivers don’t often find great success in NASCAR, as the history books tell us (see Dario Franchitti, Sam Hornish Jr. and Danica Patrick).
The most successful among the converts have been Tony Stewart, who won three Cup Series titles; Juan Pablo Montoya, who won a couple of road-course races; and AJ Allmendinger, who has made a lengthy career in stock cars.
Here are seven IndyCar drivers that we’d like to see try their hand at NASCAR. They could resonate the most with fans if they made the move, based on their talent and personalities. They would not only have a chance to succeed, but would energize stock-car racing in the process.
1. Scott Dixon
Dixon has won four IndyCar titles and even has some experience in stock cars in IROC in 2004. He has driven enough sports cars that he is used to driving different types of vehicles. And he’s considered the best out there to make the transition.
2. Josef Newgarden
The defending IndyCar champion has occasionally been seen in the NASCAR garage and appears interested in racing any cars, including stock cars. Give him a chance.
3. Ryan Hunter-Reay
I once met Hunter-Reay at Lucas Oil Raceway (formerly Indianapolis Raceway Park) when he was looking for a ride. It would be cool to see what the now IndyCar veteran could do.
4. Conor Daly
Like him in “The Amazing Race”? NASCAR might be amazing for him. And he doesn’t have a ride at the moment.
5. James Hinchcliffe
Speaking of personalities, “The Mayor” has one and is a compelling story.
6. Simon Pagenaud
From sports cars to Australian Supercars to Champ cars to IndyCar, Pagenaud has proven himself a diverse driver. It would go over well in Europe, too.
7. Pippa Mann
Mann was the only woman in the 2017 Indianapolis 500. Among women who have recently competed at Indy, it would also be good if Katherine Legge, who has plenty of sports car experience, gets a shot.