Ricciardo rips laps in “hero” Earnhardt’s classic No. 3

AUSTIN (Texas) -- Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo fulfilled his childhood dream at Circuit of the Americas. He was given a joyride in one of the late Dale Earnhardt cars.

Ricciardo rips laps in “hero” Earnhardt’s classic No. 3

AUSTIN (Texas) -- Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo fulfilled his childhood dream at Circuit of the Americas. He was given a joyride in one of the late Dale Earnhardt cars.

Ricciardo took the wheel of the 1984 No. 3 Wrangler Chevy Monte Carlo ahead Saturday's U.S. Grand Prix activities. The late champion of NASCAR, the seven-time winner, is a firm favorite of the Australian.

The Saturday morning drive around COTA -- he did a few laps, and even spun some donuts -- was Zak Brown 's reward for Ricciardo's win in the Formula One race earlier this season. Brown now owns the car.

Ricciardo has always called Earnhardt his racing hero and this week he is sporting a special black-and-silver helmet in tribute to Earnhardt. It also includes Earnhardt’s No. It includes Ricciardo's nickname, "The Honey Badger", in the same style as Earnhardt's "Intimidator".

Ricciardo stated earlier this week that Ricciardo is a great hero and that being able to drive one his cars will be surreal.

Earnhardt Jr.'s son Dirty Mo Media has been trying desperately to schedule Ricciardo on the "Dale Jr. download," Earnhardt Jr.'s popular televised podcast. Ricciardo is currently in North America.

Earnhardt Jr. tweeted, "I'm happy to Daniel." I'm also grateful for the way he celebrates my dad. This makes many dads' family members and fans smile.

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