McLaren team boss Zak Brown has awarded Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo with a test drive in Dale Earnhardt’s iconic No. 3 NASCAR Chevy Monte Carlo after the Australian took an unexpected victory in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.
Brown, who owns the ex-Earnhardt Chevy and countless other historic race cars, had promised Ricciardo a test drive in the Wrangler Jeans-sponsored stock car if he was able to score a podium for the McLaren team this year. The Australian went above and beyond the terms of their agreement Sunday, winning the Italian Grand Prix from Monza after qualifying on the first row and passing pole-sitter Max Verstappen under braking into Turn 1 on the first lap.
— Zak Brown (@ZBrownCEO) September 11, 2021
Ricciardo counts Earnhardt among his childhood racing heroes and races with the #3 in tribute to the late NASCAR icon. Speaking to F1.com this week, the 32-year-old jokingly said the race-winning result should convince Brown to give him the car – especially after he poured champagne in his race shoe on the podium and had Brown take a swig.
“I’m like, maybe he gives me the car? I think it was always a podium, I get to drive it,” he said. “We never talked about a win, so I gave him my shoe that he drank out of, so maybe he gives me the car. It’s a good trade.”
It’s not clear if Ricciardo’s vintage NASCAR test will come on an oval or a road course. The road course would probably be a better fit, considering Ricciardo has never before raced on an oval, but then again, an oval test would give the Perth native a true, all-American NASCAR experience.
The ex-Earnhardt 1984 Chevy Monte Carlo sits in Brown’s extensive race car collection at the United Autosports headquarters in the United Kingdom. The Intimidator drove the car to two victories during his first full NASCAR season at Talladega and Atlanta, kickstarting his career as one of the most famous and beloved stock car racers of all time.