Pagenaud’s Porsche goes up for auction at Mecum (VIDEO)

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INDIANAPOLIS – Simon Pagenaud has had an interesting week. The defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion turned 33 years old on Thursday and celebrated by making an appearance at a local Menards store, for his primary sponsor of his No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet.

But on Friday, Pagenaud wasn’t getting a birthday present. Instead, he was reluctantly parting ways with a car of his to be a present for someone else.

At this week’s Mecum Auctions at the Indianapolis State Fairgrounds, Pagenaud’s 2008 Porsche Cayman S, sold for $38,000. As a limited edition model, it was one of only 100 of 700 built that were shipped Stateside.

“A quick goodbye, huh? I’m a very sentimental guy when it comes to cars, so I’ve got to leave now,” Pagenaud said, via IndyCar.com. “I was obviously getting started in the U.S. She drove me around and never broke down. I only had one flat. She did good.”

You can see a video of Pagenaud’s car leaving his hands, above.

As for his day job, Pagenaud has a best speed of 229.973 mph yesterday in 222 laps completed, which ranks 23rd in the field of 33 cars.

Coverage of Mecum Auctions: Indianapolis runs from 11:30 to 2:30 p.m. ET, live on NBCSN, later today.

Pagenaud on track. Photo: IndyCar

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.