Vintage Nascar: A legacy continues

Austin Dillon

Another chapter in the legacy of NASCAR was written on Saturday night, when Austin Dillon crossed the finish line to win the Nationwide  Race at the Kentucky Motor Speedway. NASCAR has a long history of passing down the lineage of race car driver from father to son and even grandfather to grandson. But on that Saturday night, one of the most exciting chapters in NASCAR began when the grandson of NASCAR legend Richard Childress crossed the finish line in the No. 3 car to win the race and continue one of the most storied legacies of NASCAR.

Most people associate the No. 3 car with Dale Earnhardt, Sr. and always will. But many may not know that the story actually goes back to 1971 when a young driver named Richard Childress was put in the driver’s seat of the No. 96 car. William France, Sr., President of NASCAR needed drivers to replace the regular drivers who had gone out on strike that year and found Childress driving in an independent circuit. Childress first race for NASCAR would be at the Talladega Superspeedway and he would become a household name on the NASCAR circuit within just a few years. By 1976, Childress had solidified his position on the circuit and began driving under the No. 3 as a way of honoring legendary driver Junior Johnson.

Childress retired from driving in 1981 and found another driver named Dale Earnhardt Sr. to drive the Childress No. 3 car. This would be the beginning of the legendary Richard Childress Racing (RCR) Team. The RCR team would go on to win race after race, building a team that has gained a record as one of the most successful organizations in the history of NASCAR.

The legacy continued on that Saturday night when Richard Childress own grandson, Austin Dillon, took the checkered flag, driving the legendary No. 3 car at the Kentucky Motor Speedway to start a new chapter in the history of Richard Childress Racing. Whether you believe in luck, experience or a bit of both, the RCR team and Austin Dillon have made their mark on history and it looks like there is much more to come!