Ricciardo set to check NASCAR Chevy of 'huge hero' Earnhardt

Daniel Ricciardo left Monza with some scintillating silverware and an overflow of feelings in his baggage, however the Aussie’s pleasure additionally prolonged to larger heights because of a pre-season promise made by McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown.

Earlier this yr, Brown – who owns a surprising assortment of historic racers – dedicated to providing the Aussie a monitor day with the #3 1984 NASCAR Chevrolet Monte Carlo of his racing hero, Dale Earnhardt Sr, if he managed to safe a podium along with his new workforce.

That feat appeared like a impossible prospect till final weekend, when Ricciardo led a triumphant 1-2 for McLaren within the Italian Grand Prix. And Brown’s promise was behind his thoughts when he stood on the very best step of the rostrum on the Temple of Velocity.

“I’m like, perhaps he offers me the automobile?” joked Ricciardo. “I believe it was at all times a podium, I get to drive it.

“We by no means talked a few win, so I gave him my shoe that he drank out of, so perhaps he offers me the automobile. It’s a very good commerce!”

Earnhardt, a seven-time Winston Cup champion, sadly misplaced his life in a crash that occurred on the ultimate lap of the Daytona 500 in 2001.

However the NASCAR legend will at all times maintain a particular place in Ricciardo’s coronary heart, a maybe uncommon reverence for an F1 driver.

“Yeah, there’s like a few issues right now, like two heroes: Dale Earnhardt – huge hero of mine – and to have an opportunity to get behind the wheel of one among his vehicles is loopy.

“That may actually be a ‘pinch me’ second.”

  • Learn additionally – Ricciardo: ‘Deep down I by no means misplaced religion or perception’

However Ricciardo’s swirling feelings at Monza have been additionally stirred by the conclusion that he had joined the unique league of McLaren winners in F1, a membership led by his different motorsport idol, the nice Ayrton Senna.

“The opposite one… I’m sorry if I sound a bit self-absorbed now however once I consider McLaren I consider Senna,” he added.

“That’s the early recollections and I’ve seen you realize, just like the trophies within the cupboard on the MTC [McLaren Technology Centre], and to have a profitable trophy now with my identify in just about the identical cupboard is loopy.

“These are like two little issues right now that I actually admire, and they’re two little surreal moments that I assume have hit me.”

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