F1 driver Daniel Riccardo might get a chance to live out a NASCAR dream

Dale Earnhardt, 7 time Winston Cup Champion. (Photo/Harold Hinson)

Despite his status as a Formula 1 driver, Daniel Ricciardo is something else: a NASCAR fanboy. Specifically, a fan of all things Dale Earnhardt.

He’s such a big fan of the late NASCAR legend that he has campaigned Earnhardt’s number, 3, throughout his racing career, starting as a youth in karting, Ricciardo still runs the number 3.

Ricciardo joined the McLaren team for the 2021 season. It just so happens McLaren CEO Zak Brown is the proud owner of a 1984 No. 3 Chevy that Earnhardt, nicknamed the “Intimidator.” Earnhardt won two races behind the wheel of the Monte Carlo in 1984. And Brown is offering Ricciardo a little motivation to score a podium; a chance to take some laps behind the wheel of that famous 1984 No. 3 Chevy.

The offer was shown via a video on social media where Brown gave Ricciardo a scale model of the car.

“I’ve got that one, so you can keep that version as a signing-on bonus,” Brown said. “But I’m thinking your first podium, you give the real thing a go…

“Hope it gives you some motivation. Not that you need some motivation.”

Needless to say, Ricciardo was happy calling Brown’s offer “awesome.”

Ricciardo famously won a bet with his former boss at Renault, Cyril Abiteboul at Renault who was forced to get a tattoo after Ricciardo scored a podium in Germany last season.

Now, Ricciardo just needs to figure out what to get for Brown if, and when, he does score that first podium for McLaren.

Greg Engle