Daniel Ricciardo Teases NASCAR Gig After Stirring Dale Earnhardt Jr. Praise at COTA

Published 10/23/2021, 7:46 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 23, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo drives Dale Earnhardt Sr’s 1984 Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR around the circuit REUTERS/Brian Snyder


The COTA was abuzz with excitement on Saturday. Not only was it Quali-day but also Daniel Ricciardo would finally be taking Earnhardt’s 1984 Chevvy for a spin. And boy, did he serve! The throaty roar of the engine filled the circuit as Ricciardo fulfilled his childhood dream. Completing the lap with donuts, it was a poignant moment for everyone witnessing the moment; for some more than others.

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Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 23, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo drives Dale Earnhardt Sr’s 1984 Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR around the circuit REUTERS/Mike Blake

As Ricciardo brought the car back to life, Dale Earnhardt Jr was moved to look at his father’s legendary car hit the tarmac. He took to Twitter to convey his emotions. “I’m happy for Daniel. I’m also appreciative of how he celebrates my father. That makes a lot of dad’s family members and fans smile.” Ricciardo’s eagerness to get into the car wasn’t where he drew the line. His special helmet for the weekend emulates the NASCAR legend as well.

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F1 journalist Will Buxton had informed the fanboy of the emotional tweet, which “choked him up.” The Honey Badger has honored his hero in multiple ways. Driving his car, dedicating his US GP lid, and also dropping merch inspired by the NASCAR legend. As Ricciardo checks another box on his bucket list, dreams do come true for the Aussie!

Daniel Ricciardo eyes NASCAR seat

Dale Earnhardt Jr had agreed with fans that Ricciardo should try his hand at NASCAR; or more practically, the Xfinity series. Ricciardo didn’t mind the suggestion, claiming to be “well up for a go.”

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Xfinity is the feeder series to NASCAR. Ricciardo is known for his love of motorsport, especially NASCAR. Will we soon see the McLaren driver shifting chassis to the stock car?

Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 23, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo prepares to drive Dale Earnhardt Sr’s 1984 Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR around the circuit REUTERS/Mike Blake

For now, surely Ricciardo will stay in McLaren as long as he can. The team has brought him so much luck! Not only did he sit behind the wheel of his NASCAR hero, but Ricciardo also drove his F1 hero, Senna‘s, car at Goodwood earlier this year.

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Further, he would want to add more tattoos to Zak Brown‘s arm! To do so, Ricky Bobby has the challenge at COTA ahead of him. Behind both rival Ferraris heading into turn one, the 2021 US GP is going to be a conundrum for sure! Hopefully, the Earnhardt luck stays with the Aussie on Sunday.

Watch this story: How Fast Can F1 Cars Go? Comparisons With MotoGP, IndyCAR, NASCAR and Formula E

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Shreya Sanjeev

605 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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