Daniel Ricciardo, NASCAR demonstration run, Circuit of the Americas, 2021

Ricciardo has “once in a lifetime” run in hero’s NASCAR as reward for win

2021 United States Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo did a demonstration run in a NASCAR previously raced by his hero Dale Earnhardt ahead of final practice at the Circuit of the Americas today.

Earnhardt drove the Chevrolet Monte-Carlo for Richard Childress Racing in the 1984 NASCAR Cup season. Ricciardo, a lifelong fan of the seven-times champion, chose his F1 racing number three to match Earnhardt’s.

The car is owned by McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown, who bought it three years ago. At the beginning of the season he promised Ricciardo the opportunity to drive it once he scored his first podium for the team. Ricciardo achieved that in the Italian Grand Prix, which he won.

Brown said it was “a lot of fun” seeing the car running ahead of final practice for the United States Grand Prix.

“My car collection is driven by passion for the sport and the famous, iconic drivers, cars and teams,” he said.

“I think motor racing is all about sport and entertainment. We’re fortunate to have two drivers that like to have a lot of fun.

“Daniel is a huge Dale Snr fan and it’s a great moment to celebrate Daniel’s victory, give him an opportunity that’s kind of a once-in-a-lifetime, great to be able to race together and share our mutual passion for the sport around a ride that is iconic and ultimately to put a show on for the fans.”

Earnhardt was killed in a crash during the Daytona 500 in 2001. His son Dale Earnhardt Jnr said he was “happy for Daniel” to have a chance to drive the car.

“I’m also appreciative for how he celebrates my father. That makes a lot of dad’s family members and fans smile.”

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Pictures: Daniel Ricciardo drives Dale Earnhardt’s NASCAR

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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3 comments on “Ricciardo has “once in a lifetime” run in hero’s NASCAR as reward for win”

  1. So very cool.

    1. Agreed. Super rad. The noise of that thing is epic.

  2. The car is funny looking TBPF. And I just don’t understand Ricciardo sometimes. 80’s Nascar, Earnhart sr. and cage fighting are his interests? Makes you think what’s really behind the smile. I guess we got a glimpse of it when he bullied Dieter in one of the press conferences.

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