Daniel Ricciardo takes a ride in the vintage Dale Earnhardt car, making his dream come true

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AUSTIN, Texas – With the roar of the engine and the smoldering tires, Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo lived his childhood dream on the Circuit of the Americas, where he was treated to a ride in a car driven by the icon. of NASCAR, Dale Earnhardt.

Ricciardo got behind the wheel of the 1984 Wrangler Chevrolet Monte Carlo # 3 ahead of Saturday’s US Grand Prix activities. The Australian is a die-hard fan of Earnhardt, who won seven Cup Series championships and was selected in the first round of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

The Saturday morning drive around the Austin, Texas road course – he did a few laps and even did donuts – was a reward from McLaren boss Zak Brown for Ricciardo winning his first Formula 1 race with the team earlier this season. The car is the original and is now part of Brown’s collection.

Ricciardo, who has long called Earnhardt one of his racing heroes, wears a special black and silver helmet this week that pays homage to Earnhardt. It features Earnhardt’s # 3 and Ricciardo’s nickname “The Honey Badger” in the style of Earnhardt’s character “The Intimidator”.

“He’s one of my great heroes, so being able to drive one of his cars is going to be a surreal moment and a bit of a dream come true,” Ricciardo said earlier in the week.

Dirty Mo Media, the production company owned by Earnhardt’s son, is desperately trying to schedule Ricciardo for Earnhardt Jr.’s popular “Download Dale Jr.” TV podcast, while Ricciardo is in North America.

“I’m happy for Daniel” Earnhardt Jr. tweeted. “I also like the way he celebrates my dad. It brings a smile to a lot of family, dads and fans alike. “

Formula 1 will host the United States Grand Prix for the first time in nearly two years on Sunday with points leader Max Verstappen in pole position.

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