FONTANA, Calif. — Ryan Blaney was trying not to sweat when he met one of his idols.
The NASCAR Cup driver wasn’t talking about another driver when retelling the experience. And it wasn’t even an athlete.
No, this was a celebrity who made Blaney freak out — actress Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Blaney saw Ridley at the Clippers-Lakers game Tuesday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles. He then saw her again as he walked through a tunnel leaving the arena.
“I said, ‘I hate to do this, I hate to be this guy, but can I get a picture please?'” Blaney said Friday from Auto Club Speedway. “She was very nice. She stood there for a second and took a picture with me.
“We didn’t really talk that much. I didn’t know what to say. I was just trying not to sweat profusely and make a fool out of myself. … That was my starstruck moment.”
How big of a “Star Wars” fan is Blaney? He has spent $700 on a pair of lightsabers.
“I’m sure she meets thousands of people who say that to her, and I would just be one of the thousands,” Blaney said.
Did he ask her out? Did he tell her he competes in NASCAR?
“I should have asked her out? Yeah, I bet she gets that millions of times, too, throughout the year,” Blaney said. “I wasn’t going to be like, ‘Hey, I drive race cars.’
“You can’t do that. That’s not cool. I didn’t even tell her my name. … She doesn’t care who I am.”
Blaney, 23, couldn’t even tag Ridley on social media. So she will just remain a celebrity crush.
“Gone forever — I’ll never see her again,” Blaney said. “…That was my one chance, and I blew it.”