Daniel Ricciardo ‘Finally’ Attends NASCAR Race, Meets Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Daniel Ricciardo always has a smile on his face as it is, but his grin was even more noticeable Sunday.

The Formula One driver and honorary American fulfilled one of his dreams when he “finally made it” to a NASCAR race. Ricciardo was so excited that he showed up to Texas Motor Speedway sporting a vintage Dale Earnhardt Sr. “The Black Knight” T-shirt, as the late racer was one of the Aussie’s childhood heroes.

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We’re digging the shirt, @danielricciardo. #NASCARPlayoffs

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“The Honey Badger” attended Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 as a guest of Chase Elliott, but Ricciardo had a fanboy moment when he met one of Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports teammates.

Ricciardo not only got to see his favorite driver’s son, Dale Earnhardt Jr., compete before his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series concludes, but he also hung out with Earnhardt ahead of the race. What’s more, Ricciardo — as he said he would during the weekend of the United States Grand Prix — convinced Earnhardt to do a helmet swap.

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Awesome day finally got to a @nascar race, been a fan since I️ was a kid. May have done a helmet swap with Dale too 🤷🏻‍♂️😝 #stoked

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1st @nascar race ✅ Helmet swap with @dalejr ✅ Guest of @chaseelliott24 ✅ 📸 @race.service • • • #danielricciardo #ricciardo #Nascar #NASCARPlayoffs #f1 #formula1 #formulaone #helmet #dalejr #texas #usa @f1 #redbull #redbullracing

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Earnhardt posted about the exchange on Instagram, claiming that he similarly has wanted to meet Ricciardo since he found out the Red Bull Racing fan was such a big fan of his father’s. He also said that he plans to return the favor in 2018, and attend an F1 race to see Ricciardo drive — though he won’t do so in an official capacity as an NBC Sports reporter.

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Thank you to @chaseelliott24 for hosting @danielricciardo today @txmotorspeedway. Daniel is a Dale Sr fan and I️ had wanted to meet him for a while now. He had the great idea we even do a helmet swap. I’m bound for an F1 race to see Daniel wheel it next year! 💪🏼

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Although many NASCAR followers lamented the fact that Australian commentator Leigh Diffey called the race at Watkins Glen International, it’s clear that Earnhardt is accepting of fans, regardless of the flags they fly.

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