After the Australian completed his first demo, Earnhardt Jr tweeted: “I’m happy for Daniel. I’m also appreciative for how he celebrates my father. That makes a lot of dad’s family members and fans smile."
Learning of the comments, Ricciardo said: "I immediately got goosebumps.
"Honestly, if I was in a private setting and he told me that one on one, I think I would have probably cried a little bit.
"It was pretty crazy, I say crazy but happy-crazy, just to be appreciated by that family in general.
"[I'm] such a massive fan and after Senior, I was then a fan of Junior and watching every NASCAR race for years. I would wake up and watch Junior try and win the [Daytona] 500 every February.
"It was pretty cool just to be recognised and appreciated for having support for his dad."
For his runs, Ricciardo ran an open-faced helmet with his signature wide grin beaming for all to see.
Describing the experience, he added: "It was sick mate, it was so much fun and it was so different as well.
"I am definitely going to get my kicks out of it because it is just so raw and foreign.
"The noise, smashed some gears, the driving position, everything is quite unique and yeah, it is Dale's car, one of my all-time heroes so that was like, surreal. It was good fun.
"To do it in Texas as well, if we had got it and rented a private track somewhere in England, it wouldn't have had the same effect so I am really grateful Zak flew it out."
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