F1 | Ricciardo set to drive Earnhardt NASCAR Cup car in Austin
After winning a bet with McLaren’s team boss, Zak Brown, Daniel Ricciardo will get to drive one of Dale Earnhardt’s NASCAR Cup cars at Circuit of the Americas.
When the Australian driver joined McLaren at the start of the season, he made a bet with Zak Brown over him scoring his first podium with the team. In a successful attempt to avoid any physical discomfort that a tattoo brings, as Ricciardo did with former boss Cyril Abiteboul, Brown instead went for a racing incentive instead.
Taking the fact that Daniel is a big fan of Dale Earnhardt Sr, and that he races with his number, McLaren’s team boss decided that the theme would be appropriate.
When signing the honey badger to the team, Brown handed Daniel a model of Earnhardt’s 1984 Chevrolet Monte Carlo as a signing bonus, and the bet took place: if Ricciardo achieved a top 3 finish he would get to have a go on the actual car.
“I'm thinking your first podium you give the real thing a go,” explained Brown at the time.
Daniel had a rough start of the season with the papaya team, but it was in the Italian Grand Prix that he managed to live up to the bet and, with his teammate Lando Norris, brought home a 1-2 for the team.
However, it was not clear when the opportunity for the test would take place, but Ricciardo spoke to an Australian podcast last weekend and said there was a chance of it happening during the United States Grand Prix.
“I think it will happen in the next couple months,” he said. “I don't know if it might even happen in the States. We'll see. I know the car is based in Europe at the moment, but maybe to go with the American theme, how knows, they might even send it over to Austin to do a few laps in Texas.”
And now, on Friday, McLaren confirmed the plans that the run on the NASCAR Cup car will happen over the United States Grand Prix weekend, but no further details were given.
Remember this deal? 👀 @DanielRicciardo 🤝 @ZBrownCEO— McLaren (@McLarenF1) October 15, 2021
It’s happening at the #USGP! 🇺🇸🤩 pic.twitter.com/d0aTslEwbt