Daniel Ricciardo's Podium Bet With McLaren Could Earn Him Seat Time In A Vintage Dale Earnhardt Stock Car

Illustration for article titled Daniel Ricciardo's Podium Bet With McLaren Could Earn Him Seat Time In A Vintage Dale Earnhardt Stock Car
Photo: NASCAR

During the 2020 Formula One season, the thunder from down under Daniel Ricciardo raced for Renault, and formed an interesting bet with team boss Cyril Abiteboul. If Danny Rics took the yellow and black Renault to the podium something he did twice then Abiteboul would get the tattoo of Ricciardo’s choosing. For the 2021 season, Ricciardo has signed with McLaren, working up an interesting wager with team boss Zak Brown in the process. If he gets a podium for the team (which seems likely) he’ll get to drive one of Zak’s many vintage racing cars. There’s talk that if he wins a Grand Prix for the Papaya Orange team, he’ll get to take one home permanently.

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Ricciardo, who races under the number 3, it should be mentioned is an all time fanatic of The Intimidator, Dale Earnhardt, Sr. The all-time-great NASCAR champ has been an inspiration for Ricciardo throughout his entire career. It just so happens that Zak Brown owns Earnhardt’s 1984 Wrangler-sponsored Chevrolet Monte Carlo stock car. Earnhardt didn’t win a championship in this particular car, but he was synonymous with the blue and yellow racer well before he stepped into his iconic black/silver/red Goodwrench car.

During the launch of the McLaren MCL35M back in February, Daniel had this to say:

“We were just having lunch with Zak a couple of hours ago and he mentioned something about him hating needles. I can’t see that tattoo thing happening with Zak. But we’ll think of something else. I know he’s got a pretty good car collection, so maybe we could just bet one of his cars or something.”

During an interview with Motor Sport, Brown downplayed the idea of handing over a piece of his prized collection, saying “I might rather have a tattoo than lose one of those. Then again, I’m desperate for a win, so if he catches me at the right moment…” The bet morphed into a guaranteed “go” in a car in exchange for a McLaren podium.

As a showing of good faith on the bet, Brown presented Ricciardo with a scale model of the NASCAR stocker ahead of the 2021 season, shown in the (totally staged) video below.

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Honestly, I’d have a lot more respect for Brown if he’d gone all-in on the bet. Put your chips down on the table, my man. What have you got to lose?

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

DISCUSSION

Jason-Smith
Destructive Tester

The video (even though its staged) kind of shows why I like Ricciardo. Here’s a guy with more money than I’ll ever say reacting to a $200 gift (the same car looks to currently be $195 on Ebay) with as much genuine excitement as I would.