Ricciardo emerges in third; revives ‘shoey’ with Patrick Stewart (VIDEO)

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After only qualifying sixth, Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo was not expected to finish on the podium in the Canadian Grand Prix.

But courtesy of a curious two-stop strategy from Scuderia Ferrari that knocked both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen back, a missed opportunity from Sahara Force India to not exchange Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez with Ocon on fresher tires, and Max Verstappen’s own early race retirement from second place, Ricciardo emerged best of the rest behind the two Mercedes for his third straight third place finish

Although Ricciardo admitted he didn’t have the pace, he instead used a determined drive on Pirelli’s hardest compound this weekend – the softs – to hold on for third place.

“Today I only had fun when I saw the checkered flag!” the Australian laughed on the podium. “I was defending the whole race. We weren’t quick and I couldn’t afford any mistakes. Concentration was testing. It’s so awesome to be here.”

Once he finished his interview with Sir Patrick Stewart, Ricciardo then played to the Montreal crowd’s wishes to revive the “shoey” – where Ricciardo drinks champagne out of his race boot. For good measure, Ricciardo had Stewart do it, as well.

“I think I hear something but yeah… I have to do something,” Ricciardo smiled before gulping down his first “shoey” of the 2017 season.

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.