The power of 3: Ricciardo finishes third in USGP, where “3” means more

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AUSTIN – The number 3 holds great significance in the U.S. motor racing scene, and today was no different in the 2014 edition of the United States Grand Prix.

Daniel Ricciardo – who has long been a fan of Dale Earnhardt, then interacted with Dale’s son and NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. throughout the year – took on the number 3 at the start of the year when driver number choices were introduced.

MORE: Watch a full replay of the U.S. Grand Prix

Then he delivered as good a result as was possible for the Red Bull-Renault on a day when the factory Mercedes and pair of Williams-Mercedes cars were the ones to beat: a third place, in car number 3, to end a three-race podium drought.

“Yeah, the 3, it is special, it is cool,” Ricciardo said post-race. “I’m such a fan of motorsports; NASCAR I’ve followed since I was very young. Watching Dale. It was my first go-kart number as well. So it was a no-brainer for me to choose the 3.

“To come here, what better way than to have the style of Dale on my helmet. Dale Jr.’s seen that, and we’ve spoken via social media a little bit. So it’s really nice he’s supportive, and cool to see it represented in Formula One.”

So how did Ricciardo make it into podium position, considering he started fifth and then had an admittedly miserable start?

Two quick overtakes, first on Kevin Magnussen on the opening lap before a safety car period and then another on Fernando Alonso after the restart, helped clear the way for him to get back to fifth and behind the Williams pair.

From there, strategy was the deciding factor in getting ahead of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.

“I feel (the start) was my fault. I didn’t get the procedure right,” Ricciardo said.

“We had good pace. Williams were strong. I think we used good strategy to get ahead of them basically, and that paid off. We dropped a few places on the start, then got Magnussen into 12 and Alonso on the restart. I couldn’t hang with Williams at first but the longer the stint was the better we went. Mercedes was a bit out of reach, so third was the best we could do.”

That’s a true statement – Ricciardo was the only non-Mercedes powered driver within 95 seconds at the checkered flag. Fernando Alonso in sixth was 95.231 seconds in arrears of race winner Lewis Hamilton.

Third is also where Ricciardo will finish in this year’s driver’s championship, barring an unlikely turn of results for Bottas. Ricciardo has a 59-point gap to Bottas (214-155), while being 78 points back of second-placed Nico Rosberg.

Others have finished on the podium in the U.S. with car number 3 in the past, although that was frequently down to the team’s traditional numbers or the team’s previous year finish in the Constructor’s Championship.

Although mathematically eligible for the championship heading into today’s USGP, Ricciardo has now been officially eliminated from that.

Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.
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NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.