During a Twitter Q&A last year, Earnhardt said that Red Bull driver Ricciardo would be welcome to race in a JR Motorsports car on a road course at any time.
Ricciardo responded by saying that he would look at his 2016 race calendar, which is already poised to be busier than ever thanks to a record-breaking 21 F1 races, starting in Australia on March 20.
Speaking to reporters in London last week, Ricciardo said that he would definitely enter an Xfinity race one day – ideally alongside Earnhardt – but that he would want to dedicate some time to preparing for it so he could be competitive.
“I would love to,” Ricciardo said when asked if he could do an Xfinity race in the near future.
“To be honest, I didn’t get to a point where I asked Christian [Horner, Red Bull team principal]. Because if I did it, I would want to do it properly. I would hate to go there and get my ass kicked basically. Then it looks bad on F1 as well. The cars would be so different, I would want to make sure that I tested and got comfortable.
“So I think in the calendar there were some races that I could do which didn’t clash, but the question was when could I do the testing. This is even before asking Red Bull, but just in my mind I was like, ‘When could I test? When could I get to America?'”
Ricciardo is an avowed fan of late seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt, having run the stylized No. 3 on his go-kart that was made famous by “The Intimidator.”
Ricciardo, 26, said that he would most likely give NASCAR a go once he had checked off his targets in F1, where he has won three races and finished third in the drivers’ championship in 2014.
“I would love to do it one day, but now, not only is it a bit rushed, but I’ve definitely got targets here in Europe and in Formula 1 which I want to tick off first,” Ricciardo said.
“Sure, I’ve ticked off the winners’ column, but the world title is the real one. It will wait a little bit, but sure, one day, I think I will definitely take up his offer.
“Hopefully race alongside him, that would be cool.”