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Brown reveals added sentiment behind Ricciardo's "dream" NASCAR drive

Brown reveals added sentiment behind Ricciardo's "dream" NASCAR drive

F1 News

Brown reveals added sentiment behind Ricciardo's "dream" NASCAR drive

Brown reveals added sentiment behind Ricciardo's "dream" NASCAR drive
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has revealed the added sentimental value behind the Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet Monte Carlo that will be driven by Daniel Ricciardo ahead of qualifying and the race at this weekend's United States Grand Prix.

Ricciardo will make a "dream come true" at the Circuit of the Americas when driving the 1984-85 NASCAR machinery as part of a bet made between the Australian and Brown when joining McLaren over the winter.

Whilst it is a well-known fact that Ricciardo is a huge admirer of Earnhardt and all things American, Brown explained his motive behind owning the car.

"That’s a special car. That started off life in 1983," said Brown. "It’s actually Ricky Rudd’s car that won at Riverside. I was at that race.

"Then it got converted to Dale Earnhardt Snr’s car in the ’84 and ’85 season, and won a handful of races, so it’s the real deal.

"We flew it out here from England where it lives, and Daniel’s going to give it a go. He did a seat fitting, which was I think more of just making sure that the seat-belt’s fit."

Ricciardo's "24 long and sad months" without Texas

F1 hasn't visited Texas since 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and to celebrate its return to the calendar, Ricciardo wore full cowboy attire to the circuit on Thursday whilst also revealing a special Earnhardt tribute helmet design.

"I am very happy to be back," he said. "It has been 24 long and sad months without Austin in my life so just a good time and I do get to drive the Earnhardt car this weekend.

"Zak got it out from Europe to bring it here so there has been a good effort put into that so I am pretty excited."

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