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NASCAR legend takes Adelaide hotlap

NASCAR royalty Richard Childress has tasted Supercars power at the Adelaide 500.

The 78-year-old, visiting Australia for the first time to attend the Supercars season finale, took to the circuit alongside Brodie Kostecki in the #99 Erebus Camaro on Thursday afternoon.

A member of NASCAR’s Hall of Fame, Childress was a driver in his own right before striking success as a team owner – most famously with the late Dale Earnhardt Sr.

Childress told V8 Sleuth after his lap of a damp Adelaide circuit that he made an exception to his usual rule of avoiding the passenger seat.

Childress alongside Kostecki. Pic: Ross Gibb

“I rode with a guy one time that was in there trying to impress me and I said I wouldn’t do it (a hotlap) again, but I did with Brodie because I felt good with him,” Childress said.

“I told him, ‘I said I’d never ride in another car, but I trust you good enough, I’ll ride with you’.”

As for the Supercars Camaro, Childress said: “I was surprised about the beating the gearbox takes.

“I mean, I own cars with exactly the same transaxle, but I didn’t realise how hard a beating they take.

“But I felt good and comfortable with him driving, he was pretty cool.”

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Kostecki does not need to impress Childress in Adelaide.

The 26-year-old has already done that, making a one-off NASCAR Cup Series start aboard a Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet at the Indianapolis road course in August.

That’s just part of an association between RCR and Erebus that has seen the Australian team helping its American counterpart improve its road course program.

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“I came over just to watch this race, I’d heard so much about it and I wanted to come and watch and support,” Childress said of his visit to Adelaide.

“I’m here to help support them any way I can.”

Kostecki and Erebus are this weekend attempting to wrap up the squad’s maiden drivers’ and teams’ championships, having proven the pacesetters in the first Gen3 season.

RCR currently runs full-time NASCAR Cup Series entries for Childress’ grandson Austin Dillon and veteran Kyle Busch.

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